I should be feeling festive by now, but I am not.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not bah humbug about Christmas, but for some reason this year it is taking me longer than usual to get into the spirit of it.

I think it’s partly down to the fact that I cannot quite believe we are almost at the end of the year; it seems to have flown by.

I am sure I will get into the spirit of the season as the day gets closer; I almost love the anticipation of Christmas more than the day itself.

As a child I can remember the feeling of my stomach doing somersaults with every door we opened on the Advent calendar.

Although I no longer have that overwhelming sense of excitement, I do look forward to some time off, too much food and the odd tipple! 

But I would love to recapture that child-like joy. For most adults Christmas is quite hard work! 

I think this time of the year probably leaves many of us feeling nostalgic for the past. 

Growing up in Cornwall in the seventies in a single parent family after my mum was widowed, we had very little money. 

But although it was very tough financially, and must have been a very stressful time of the year for my mum, all my memories of Christmas as a child are warm and cosy. 

Our main source of heat was a coal fire and we loved sitting on the floor in front of it to open our presents. Christmas Day was the only day the fire was lit first thing in the morning.

We had to bag a space in front of it quickly before the cat took up her position as close to the grate as she could get.

Also, being fascinated by television from a young age meant that Christmas was an extra special time for me because of all the festive editions of my favourite programmes.  We loved the Two Ronnies and Morecambe and Wise and couldn’t wait to get the Christmas Radio Times to see what the massive film premiere would be after the Queen’s Speech. 

It’s funny to think now that we had to wait for those big films, often a very long time after they’d been in the cinema. Now, thanks to streaming services, the choice is unlimited; I am not sure the quality is any better though! 

I even looked forward to seeing the festive BBC1 globe in between programmes, and on ITV seeing the Westward TV announcers in front of a Christmas tree with a winter wonderland backdrop. I found a clip on YouTube recently of the late Ian Stirling, who was an announcer at Westward TV and TSW, introducing the Christmas Day highlights sometime in the 1980s.


It instantly transported me back to that feeling of wide-eyed wonder I had as a child dreaming not only of Christmas, but one day doing the same job as Ian Stirling. 

The announcers in front of their tree and beaming out from the corner of our living room were part of our family Christmas. 

I now realise why I spend a great deal of the festive season watching so many old programmes; they transport me back to my happy, carefree childhood. 

I am currently re-watching the entire box set of Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister. Not only are they still as relevant today nearly 40 years on, they are also brilliantly written and performed. 

I will be seeking out many other programmes from my childhood over the next few weeks alongside some of the new stuff.  

There is often criticism that there are too many repeats on television over the festive season, but perhaps there’s a very good reason for it: millions of us still love to see these programmes from the past because of the comforting nostalgia they evoke. 

For many people, of course, television and radio will be their main companions over Christmas. I often received cards from listeners and viewers telling me that I will be part of their family over the holidays. 

It was a great privilege and responsibility to know I would perhaps be one of the few familiar faces or voices that some people would see and hear during the festivities. 

There is something very special about working over Christmas. Most of us would rather be at home of course, but if you’re in a job that provides a service 365 days a year, you just have to make the best of it. 

I worked many shifts over Christmas and New Year. There would be just a few of us on duty and it was often more relaxed than a usual working day, with plenty of chocolates to help us through. 

But, nonetheless, most people would prefer to be with their families, so a big thank you to all those who will be giving up their Christmas to provide a vital public service. 

Those who work in the emergency services will be on duty along with hospital and care home staff, delivery drivers and yes, even journalists, while the rest of us tuck in to the turkey. 

I was reminded of this at the start of the month when I hosted a carol concert in aid of the Cornwall Air Ambulance. 

The paramedics were telling me about the shifts they would be working, including all day and into the night on Christmas Day, and right the way through the festive period. 

So, as I wallow in nostalgia in front of the telly enjoying a glass or two of festive spirit, I will also be thinking of those who are standing by to respond if we need them. 

Happy Christmas!