Advent song for December 24: and the winner is…

OK, there isn’t a winner, I just couldn’t resist the headline. As I said before, I didn’t really have a plan as to which song went where on the advent calendar this year, but I did promise myself that if anyone voted for my personal favourite, they’d get the Christmas Eve slot. So I was delighted when Donna plumped for Mistletoe and Wine, because Donna is completely lovely and utterly deserving of the final place.

Donna and I used to work together, in the first proper job I ever had. Well, second, if you count four months doing 20 hours a week in Streatham Under Fives Centre, which I’m not sure I do. This job was in a bookshop, and in the late nineties and early two thousands Donna and I had the most fun anyone has ever had at work, because she is the sweetest, silliest, most genuine, forthright and hilarious person in the world, and spending eight hours a day in her company was sheer out-and-out delight.

When good things happened to Donna she would fill the room with beams of joy so intense they felt tangible. When bad things happened to Donna she would cry, then find a way to feel better about them, usually with the accompaniment of a lot of laughter. If I was in a bad mood, I would sit and glower silently. If Donna was in a bad mood, she’d announce it, explain it and within a few minutes we’d have talked around it from every angle and both be feeling better.

Everyone should have a Donna, especially if they are occasionally inclined to unhealthy levels of cynicism and negativity. Donna was so open and so engaged that I couldn’t sustain my sneering teenage posture, and had no choice but to become nicer, and for that I will always be grateful to her.

Happy Christmas, Donna! And happy Christmas to everyone who has read any of this year’s advent calendar. It’s been a lot of fun to do, and I’m only sorry that there wasn’t room for all the songs people nominated. But, you know, there’s always room for Cliff.

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