Obviously that's not the whole story. A shocking number of people will be relying on Food Banks and a range of other charitable services to ensure they have a roof over their heads and their families get fed this Christmas. So a big thank you to the many, many, people out there who have donated to and do voluntary work for all those organisations. It all too easy to forget, in the retail frenzy that our modern Christmas has become (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Manic Monday) that it's about giving and sharing and bringing people together.
Talking of bringing people together last weekend saw the families final pre-Christmas outing to the local cinema for The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. A fitting finale to what's been a thoroughly enjoyable trilogy. Although a part of me would love to see what Guillermo del Toro, the master of dark fantasy, (Pans Labyrinth is one of my favourite films) would have made of it.
We all agreed it was a visually stunning spectacle. A roller coaster ride that, by Peter Jackson's standards, barely pauses for breath. Laced with dark humour and boasting some of the most beautifully choreographed battle scenes in Middle Earth. Switching with ease from the epic scale of the battlefield to the personal struggles within it.
The Hobbit is quite literally about the little people. A parable of our times perhaps? It leaders are weak, corrupted by the all consuming greed for wealth and power, what is 'rightfully theirs'. Cue our reluctant heroes to save the day. Bard, a man who would sacrifice everything for his family. Bilbo, a Hobbit who would trade all the gold in the Lonely Mountain for the simple pleasure of watching an acorn grow. Occupy Middle Earth anyone?
Merry Xmas everybody...