Only the super-organised, the serious prevaricator, or those spending the festivities alone will have time to read much today. And so I'm offering nothing more than a passing thought for anyone who might drop by here.
For none of us can escape the reality that the western world is shutting down for a few days. The razzmatazz of shopping and visits to Santa will die down and we have time to eat and drink and play with those we love. Sometimes, as we settle to our feasting, we can almost believe that this is the most important festival in the world.
But hold on a minute. What about Diwali? What about Ramadan and Eid? What about Hanukkah?
All over the world, we celebrate by eating together. We tell different stories, have different gods, but we all find reasons, regularly, to spend festive time with those we love, and to share food.
Those stories, those gods - they help us to make sense of ourselves and why we are here, and why we need each other. They seek to explain the creation, evolution, the dominance of humankind as a species. (Scientists tell different stories, and often have evidence to back them up. We can discuss the religion vs science debate another time.)
And so, when I'm sitting with my family, at a table weighed down with goodies, I shall try to raise a glass to all those with stories to tell.
And then, no doubt, a grandchild will jump on me. Once upon a time ...
(If you've time to drop my some of my travelling tales, you'll find links on my website.)