BE THANKFUL: Remember how important the people around you are at this time of year.
BE THANKFUL: Remember how important the people around you are at this time of year.

Sweaty Christmas to all

CHRISTMAS is a time for family and shouldn't be overlooked as we gaze expectantly at the horizon for the dawn of a happier New Year.

2016 has been pretty atrocious so it stands to reason we'd rather wash our hands of it. But for one day we can relax with family and close friends, eat too much seafood and wear a silly paper crown.

Maybe that's just us.

Three years ago, we had a most memorable Christmas - family came from everywhere, aunts and uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, partners, children - they all descended upon my sister's backyard for food, a game of cricket and a swim in the pool.

We were such a crowd that we spilled over into the nearby vacant allotment and drew appreciative honks from passing motorists who knew a good party when they saw one.

It was also my worst Christmas because it was my mother's last. She had been diagnosed with terminal cancer in November and was gone by January.

Sure, I sat and cried fat tears into her trifle, but she was surrounded by people who loved her, to celebrate her favourite time of the year.

I might be exaggerating here.

Anyone who has spent a Christmas with us knows she complained bitterly about the heat. Every year. And threatened to run away to Tasmania. Every year. But she was always there, sweating in the kitchen over a roast before sitting to enjoy a wine, her pinky finger in the air.

I think she loved it all the same - Queensland heat, be damned.

Every sweaty Christmas is going to be that much harder because that was when we knew we were losing her.

It's also going to be that much sweeter, because we see how precious life is. We know how important the people around us are, even when they're telling god-awful stories about the time you were inside the toilet bowl.

Again, maybe that's just us. Alright... just me.

So, by all means, hope for a stellar 2017 - we've certainly earned it - but remember to appreciate everything you have and that you, just possibly, presume you will continue to have for many years to come.

In case 2017 isn't the Knight in Shining Armour we'd all like it to be, please make Christmas 2016 a temporary salve.

Merry Christmas to my family and friends, my readers and to my dearly departed mum, Jan Johansen. I bet the weather is perfect.

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