‘Tis the season for sending carol singers away from your door, complaining about the fast-approaching Brexit deadline and hitting the shops for Black Friday faster than Prince Andrew is running from his nefarious affiliation with Geoffrey Epstein. But before we rejoice over further reductions in Debenhams as it slides ever closer to bankruptcy (because the less money you are obliged to spend on your loved ones the better), it might be time to remember why the Coca Cola-red Santa Claus is with us in the first place: the vanishing concept of making people happy, which nobody seems to have time for anymore. 

Granted, it is a stressful period for everyone working behind the scenes at Christmas: those stuffing the turkey, those tidying up the tinsel after it has been drunkenly ripped off the tree, those switching off the Christmas lights when all the little ones are tucked into bed. But while we are roasting chestnuts on an open fire, more than 72,000 children this year will be spending the most wonderful time of the year in temporary accommodation, resulting in the equivalent of an entire class of children per school spending the last sleep ‘til Christmas in a B&B at best.  

Not only is homelessness at a record level in the UK, with an estimated 60% increase on adults sleeping rough as we rocket into the next decade clad in glitter and wielding a Marks and Spencer’s champagne flute, the Trussel Trust have already distributed 823,145 emergency food parcels this year to families who would otherwise be putting down a maximum of 1 meal a day in front of their children. 

So, while Jack Frost cheekily nips at our noses this Christmastime, take a moment to remember that the “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous” old hands of Scrooge are far from being a fictional fairytale for those sleeping on London’s pavements this Christmas.  

So wear your Santa hats with pride, may your days be merry and bright, but not everybody’s Christmas is going to be white.