This Christmas I’ll be thankful to be hungover

Rick Jackson believes Big Ben's bongs should not be silenced

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Tomorrow morning I, like a fair few others, will no doubt be fighting a raging hangover whilst ripping the wrapping off a bundle of presents and wondering how to force down a glass of Champagne.

I’ll be looking forward to Christmas lunch with the family, then watching the Queen, wondering if I can stay awake for EastEnders and how on earth I’ll fit in a second massive meal, more wine, and more presents, without bursting.

I love Christmas. I love wrapping presents in front of a twinkling – and real – Christmas tree, with either a Harry Potter film on the TV or Christmas tunes blaring out, with the essential glass of mulled wine or two.

I might get a little bit sad, thinking about some of the things I haven’t been able to do through the past year, perhaps wondering what might have been...

But then I think about some of the people who have been in The News this year.

I think of Timmy McColl’s family, still waiting to hear what has happened to him after he disappeared while on deployment with the Royal Navy in the Arab Emirates.

His family in Gosport are still waiting and hoping for his return.

Then I think of the families of those who have lost loved ones to illness this year – particularly the families of children who have died.

They must go through unimaginable pain at this time of year.

And I think of the families of those who have lost people who were serving their country in Afghanistan and in conflicts around the world.

With war comes risk, as countless families in this region know, but that is cold comfort for the first Christmas.

But before I destroy every ounce of seasonal joy, I remind myself that these people will be missed because of the love that surrounds them, given to them by their friends and family who will think of them every single day.

So when I’m eating my 700th sprout, and giving my mum an extra special Christmas hug, I’ll be thankful the only thing I’ve got to worry about is how to stop my head pounding.