Like many other people, I find this time of year tough as there’s that reminder of those we’ve lost as we notice the empty chair at the dinner table on Christmas Day.  

This year I’ve seen more than ever how commercial Christmas is. 

Shops seduce us with unrealistic ideas of what a perfect Christmas should be – and I admit I’ve become a bit irritated by Andy Williams singing It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year as for some it’s anything but.

I’ve found it hard to feel festive this year. But I’ve put up the decorations and will enjoy the celebrations as much as I can. 

It’s the build-up and festive events that I enjoy; coming together and being with friends and family is what Christmas is for me.

I feel blessed to be part of the amazing family at The Sunnybank Trust where I work to produce The Sunny Sessions radio show. 

I’ve spent the past few weeks collecting material for the Christmas Day special which is airing on Surrey Hills Community Radio at 2pm on Monday (December 25).

We have laughter, jokes, Christmas singing and the Christmas alphabet game where we take the word “Christmas” and come up with other festive words starting with each letter. It was a lot of fun recording that for radio. 

My favorite memory of the alphabet game was provided by a student from Nescot College in Epsom, where I ran a session recently. He proudly told me that “A is for appy Christmas”. We also had a “T is for tea bag” – I guess you can buy Christmas tea.

Also on the show is a Christmas Day message from Andrew Bates, of New Life Church in Woking, to help us focus on the true meaning of the season.

Over Christmas I’d love for you to tune into one of my radio shows.

The Sunny Sessions will be on Surrey Hills Radio on Christmas Day (2pm) and Thursday, December 28 (11am) – and The Sunny Sessions Extra live show will be on Monday, January 1 (9pm).

On Radio Woking, The Sunny Sessions will be on Wednesday, December 27 (9am) – and the Breakfast show will be on Wednesday (7am) and Sunday, December 31 (9am).

I also have a Christmas special on Radio Woking between 9am and noon on Christmas Day.

Both radio stations have a full line-up of great shows presented mainly by volunteers who are passionate about what they do and their community.

So why not have a listen during the festive season? 

You can listen online and on smart speakers. 

Radio Woking is on DAB digital radio locally.

I’d like to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. 

Thank you to everybody who’s listened to me on the radio and read this column each week.

And thank you to the News & Mail for giving me this opportunity to share my journey with you.

If you want to get in touch, you can email me at [email protected]