Everyone knows about the terror of last minute Christmas crowds. The horror stories of self absorbed people focused solely on what they want. Ignoring the needs of others - or frustrated to boiling point when things don't go as they planned.
For me, this was the first time in 4 or 5 years that I have been out and about to experience the Christmas Rush.
I needed a few last bits. With slight trepidation I found a parking space. But as I left my car I realised just how lucky I was.
I was on my own - independent, shopping for things for Christmas tea. Things I chose, for an evening I will host. True, the goodies gradually filling my basket were pre-prepared, but 2 years ago I was in hospital scarcely able to sit or talk. And now see how far I have come!
And suddenly I wasn't fighting crowds, trying to get my list finished, I was a little patch of contentment happy to wait while the lady in front made up her mind regarding cheese. I saw teenagers helping and being appreciated by parents, and fathers taking time to make have silly conversations with giggling toddlers, and of course, I laughed at the funny dance one does when meeting someone coming down the middle of the aisle you are heading up - while the universe decides whether you will go left or right.
As usual at several points I needed to borrow some height. I thought it would be difficult to get people's attention, that I would feel like I was in the way.
Cheerful comments, casual assistance, and an array of positive Christmas greetings.
So, for me, this year, it has genuinely been a beautiful Christmas Rush.