Merry Christmas everyone! Or Happy Hanukah! Lovely Jo from Girls Heart Books asked me to write something sweet and lovely for Christmas and I started to write something but it wasn’t quite right. So I’m going to do something different. I’m going to be honest.
I find Christmas really difficult. I know, you’re not meant to admit that, but it’s true. I don’t really get on with my family, all my friends scurry off back to the provinces and London becomes an eerie ghost-town for a week.
I was about fifteen when I realised Christmas could be quite hard. By that time I felt very different from the rest of my family – a real outsider. They didn’t get me at all. I sat on the margins of dinners and parties with little to add, feeling square-shaped and tongue-tied.
Luckily, I was wise enough (and fortunate enough) to ask for books for Christmas. You know a book is a book before you even open it, and my pile of gifts stacked a lot more neatly than most. I’d open that book – a Doctor Who Annual, a Point Horror paperback, a Spice Girl autobiography – and for the rest of the day I was left alone. Instead of asking me awkward questions about ‘have you found a girlfriend yet?’ I was ‘bookish James’. They let me sit quietly by the tree and read until Christmas had passed and life resumed.
That’s not the magic of Christmas, that’s the magic of books! They’re little paper escape pods and I hope your stockings are full of them wherever you are today.
All my love,
James Dawson xxx