There is an elderly lady who lives alone across the road from us in Sweden. Our kitchen window looks out over her cosy little house and so I follow her waking and sleeping whilst I make breakfast, lunch, supper and constant cups of delicious Swedish coffee.
I don't follow her comings and goings because she does not go anywhere.... Only once have I seen people at her house, a man carrying a basket of goodies, nicely wrapped, and she let him inside so he must have been a relative.
Swedes are not forthcoming, they do not engage in needless chitchat. It takes time to get them to warm up. However SheHoo Must Wear Kevlar is very good at drawing people out, even Swedes!!
It is Christmas on Friday. Do I pop across with some Swedish St Lucia Buns (Lussekatter). Maybe I could ring the bell, drop the buns on her porch and stand masked, some distance back to wish her happy Christmas. I am sure she is social distancing but I am also sure she probably does not speak English. My Swedish is pretty poor, I can say hello, goodbye and meatball!! (The Swedish meatballs are worth a story on their own!)
My heart goes out to the millions of precious people who will celebrate Christmas alone. My own family - Beautiful Laura in France, Spirited Greta in Devon, Enchanting Rosemarie in Bulawayo....
This time last year almost the entire family assembled in South Africa, children from Oz, from Russia, from Addis, families from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Texas. When will it ever be like that again
As I think of my little Family Bubbles, I pray they will be safe. Alex and Jo and family in the 44 degree temperature in Perth Bubble, Gary, Lena and Alex in that snowed in Moscow Bubble, Gavin and Helen and family in the UK countryside bubble. Maggie, Catherine, Liz and Benji in the Bristol Bubble, Suz, Gerald and my beautiful nephews and Nieces also inside that boiling hot Perth Bubble, David and Melinda in a red, white and Blue Texan bubble, Mike and Felicity and Chris and Pol and Babies in a happy Joburg bubble, Miriam, Dan and all the families in the deep South USA.
Friends and families and the whole wide world trying to make light of massive unemployment, chronic loneliness, poor mental health, some indescribably ill, some grieving and in utter despair.
The Christmas star seems to be brining the only tiny light of hope.
Bless you one and all, the Mirror readers who so faithfully open our letter weekly.
We pray most fervently of all that God keeps safe the children of the world.
May our Christmas wishes and blessings pour over all who need love and comfort, remember the darkest hour is before the dawn.
"In prehistoric times, mankind often had only two choices in crisis situations: fight or flee.
In modern times, humour offers us a third alternative; fight, flee - or laugh." Robert Orben