As you may have gathered I am a stubborn and grumpy individual at times, personally I am not a fan of what Christmas has become over time, I am not remotely religious either, other than a few moments when I believed Dennis Bergkamp to be the messiah (no offence intended to all those of you with a religion other than the Church of Bergkamp).
I wanted to annoy everyone with a generally tiresome Christmas message and this is it. It has not been easy running this Arsenal blog, it is hard to motivate oneself to keep writing week in week out, but Ted and I have now been scribbling our various ramblings since 2007, for over 4 years now. We are getting towards a million page views and I never imagined we would have got near this kind of mark.
One thing I love about being an Arsenal fan is the fact that other Arsenal fans are a pretty good bunch on the whole, this isn't just a rose tinted view, there is no doubt that we are a pretty different breed from some, and one can see this from the amazing plethora of Arsenal related sites floating around the Internet. There is so much good stuff out there, incredibly so much of it is vastly superior to the so called 'journalism' one finds in the mainstream media, and some of it has even been subsequently bottled for mainstream consumption.
I don't get to as many games as I would like to anymore for various reasons, I still like to think of myself as a pretty devout fan but there are those far more devout than myself, those guys who travel the length and breadth of the country in support of the team they love, spending a massive chunk of their wage on this, it is incredible how much commitment some people have, I hold my hands up to them.
Anyway enough of the rambling, for me Christmas should be a time for sitting back and just taking a little bit of time out to think about what is important in life. For me there is nothing more important than my family, of course football is important but one has to have some perspective, it is not as important is life, death and family for example.
In this context we should all do our best to rise above the things that it is so easy to be guilty of, things like hypocrisy, rudeness, arrogance and many many others. Football is part of a much bigger picture and we would would all do well to realise this at times, I will freely admit that I am guilty of bad offensive behaviour at times, it's important to own up to it, apologise and learn the lessons. We all make mistakes after all and anyone who says otherwise is simply lying.
Blogging and Twitter may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the general power for good in getting more people to communicate with each other cannot be underestimated. I never expected to bond with some Tottenham fans for example, that's not to say I haven't mocked some of the knuckle dragging type!
Anyway all Christmas is for me is about trying to realise what's important, trying to get on with people whenever possible, trying to continue to expose ignorance and hypocrisy where I see it, and trying to be as good a person as one can possibly be. It would be nice if Arsenal win too, but as one gets older and uglier, one becomes more able to put the bad results in context, unfortunately they do still hurt a fair bit and I still haven't worked out how to stop that.
Merry Christmas to all of you, whether you are black, white, purple of pink, whether you are Arsenal, Tottenham or Liverpool, and a happy new year!