Time to stop piling the Christmas period pressures on us
IT'S CHRISTMAS time, which means it's almost the time of year that I start to get pretty spiritual.
Jameson, Sailor Jerry, Jack Daniel's and Jim Beam are the spirits I worship most emphatically.
Add in a few of the delights from the Toohey brothers and it's starting to look a lot like Christmas.
There's a few things iconically Australian that I love about this time of year.
The general indifference to the religious symbolism of the day for one.
The hearty embrace of rampant alcoholism another.
Most days it's frowned upon to be caught clutching a cold beer in the kitchen at 9am.
But for that glorious 72 hours from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day it is celebrated, or at least tolerated with a glassy-eyed roll and stare into the distance.
Neighbours don't judge when you have Paul Kelly spewing out of the speakers at fighter jet flyover sound levels.
And nor should they.
While many of us will enjoy glorious moments like these over the coming week or two, there are plenty who won't.
I'm feeling grateful to know that for the first time I'll get to enjoy Christmas with a human being I'm responsible for.
If she's anything like me she'll have no recollection of at least her first five Christmases, so a few balls of wrapping paper should keep her happy.
But I can't imagine what it would be like without her.
And I know there are plenty who will be going without something this year.
For some it will be their kids.
Others their jobs, mobility, dignity, health, friends or even hope.
Some will be in that position as a result of their own actions.
Sadly some will be through no fault of their own.
Don't assume everyone is going through a peak period this Christmas.
Idle hands make it easy for the black dog to settle in and at times of great happiness around, those doing it tough can often be at their most isolated.
Don't be fooled by a brave face, a grin or a grimace, a shrug of the shoulders and a laugh.
We've heard many stories this year of people who have taken their own lives with no warning.
And it's for all of these factors and more I find it so hard to accept this council's crackdown on parking fines at the moment.
In what is arguably the most financially trying time of the year, at the end of another exhausting 12 months, the slap of a $94 fine stings so much more.
It shows such disconnect with the community and such disregard from council to bite the hands that feed them with such disdain.
The salt on the wound is seeing the rules changed completely for vehicles adorned with council logos.
For $94 is it worth risking being the straw that breaks a camel's back?