You may have noticed that this year I have refrained from my customary blog / moan about xmas and new year. That’s because this time I want to attempt to remain resolutely positive and I know that the right-minded among you have been through the arguments for and against xmas more times than you’ve sat down to a giant turkey with all the trimmings. For me, it’s all about control, not having someone else tell you how and when to think, behave and enjoy or not enjoy yourself. So the answer is control too, it’s impossible to avoid the festivities unless you leave the country but it is possible to make your own suitable activities and celebrations on your own terms and do that to your own and your loved-ones’ liking. It is so liberating not to give and receive pointless presents, and it’s good for the long term future of the planet (even if in the short term it screws the late-capitalist economy a little). So, now the winterval, the taking stock, the mid-winter pause for thought is nearly at an end; now we have only three weeks to wait till the returning of the light, that first tingle, that little shift, the little lift that happens around the 21st of January, let’s look ahead. 2011 is going to be all about making more from less; being rigorous about quality control; making scarce resources stretch further with thought, ingenuity and determination; perhaps sharing a few more of the burdens and the joys with friends and family. It’s going to be about rejecting the stupid and embracing the reasonable, that means no religious nonsense, no I believe therefore it is; no consumerist nonsense, no I want therefore I must have; no political nonsense, no we have to do this because of the mess the last lot left for us. It’s going to be about being sure, but always open to being proved wrong; about being tough and strong, and that means strong enough to be loving and sentimental when that is the best option; about being creative, and sharing, and giving, and making some wonderful things happen, every day, not just when we are told we are supposed to do it. So happy new year people and don’t forget to share the love.