Traditions are funny things. Christmas has been celebrated across the Christian world since the forth century, taking the place of winter solstice celebrations on the 25th of December. The winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is the point in the year when the North Pole is at its maximum tilt away from the sun producing the shortest day and the longest night of the year.
I started the day with a run to the top of the highest hill near my house and back, a distance of seven miles and around 800meters of climbing. This run was special for three reasons, we had glorious weather, I managed the run in under 60 minutes for the first time ever, and it marked the completion of my 2000 miles of running challenge for the year.
The rest of the day was spent with my wife, cooking and eating great food, video calls with family, and a cheeky few glasses of champagne with the couple next door over the fence in the front garden. It was not the Christmas we had planned but it was a day to remember.
In England, we have some tough months ahead. The rate of infections are up and increasing, the cold winter will come, and we are likely to enter a heavier lockdown in the next few days. But just as the winter solstice marks the turning point towards longer days and shorter nights, there is a vaccine, a trade deal has been agreed with the EU, and the winter will give way to the spring in a few short months.
Merry Christmas! I hope you and your family and safe, have full bellies and warm homes.