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2002-12-24 - 6:19 p.m.

HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) by John Lennon and Yoko Ono

So this is christmas and what have you done?

Another year over, a new one just begun

And so this is christmas

I hope you have fun

The near and the dear ones

The old and the young

A merry, merry christmas

And a happy new year

Let's hope it's a good one

Without any fear

And so this is christmas for weak and for strong

The rich and the poor ones, the road is so long

And so happy christmas

For black and for white

For the yellow and red ones

Let's stop all the fights

A merry, merry christmas

And a happy new year

Let's hope it's a good one

Without any fear

War is over if you want it


Long before the Beatles, or at least my knowledge of them, long before I knew any more about John Lennon than how he died, this was the song that my Dad made sure got an airing every Christmas. He has it on an old 45, though now we just skip to track nine on "The John Lennon Collection".

My Dad's best friend he's known since his Uni days arrived today. Tomorrow his daughter, who is about 30 now will arrive with her husband of six months. Her brother and sister are both overseas and her mother died 12 years ago. Until then I think every Christmas in memory consisted of their family coming down around about Christmas Eve and staying for a few days. We always had really fancy Indian dishes for Christmas lunch- turkey only became a regular thing in the nineties for us. My "Uncle" as he is affectionately known would usually drive with me to my Dad's work on Christmas Eve to pick him up, inebriated from Christmas Eve drinks. Then we'd usually drive home via Bonnet Bay and check out the lights and the revellers. Christmas lunch would consist of anywhere from 10 people (said two families) to 25.

The first few years after this tradition disintegrated were the first time I'd left my home on Christmas Day. We drove to Canberra for Christmas with other relatives after waking up and opening our presents at home. To this day however last year was the only time I've ever woken up on Christmas morning anywhere other than this house.

One year we had all of my Dad's brothers and sisters, their children and our Grandparents around, no mean feat when half of them lived in Singapore. And for the last three years I've been developing a new tradition it seems: the 6am-3pm shift at work, complete with Santa Hat, before driving home to join the family festivities.

Christmas is about family, tradition and love.

All good things.


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