Football fans in Santa outfits, it doesn’t get better than this

WITH Christmas and the festivities that come with it having been and gone, attention turns to the fast-approaching new year.

For me, the fuss about how to bring in a brand new 12 months can seem like a bit of an anti-climax. There is just so much pressure on having a good time.

Do you go to a friend’s house for a party, spend an extortionate amount on buying tickets to go to your local pub – which is normally free to enter – with the only bonus of some cold nibbles and a glass of fizz come midnight, or stay in?

The decision is not an easy one and it has haunted me on numerous occasions. To be fair, I’ve tried them all and the one thing that really matters is the people you are with.

This brings me to how I spent New Year’s Eve a few years ago. I had travelled down to London with my girlfriend and some friends and we had all decided it would be brilliant to go to watch the capital’s stunning display of fireworks from London bridge instead of on the TV.

Well, you can guess what happened. We were running slightly late and ended up stuck on the tube drinking warm beer from a can and sharing some Asti with strangers when the clock hit midnight.

Despite this, it was probably one of the most memorable New Year’s Eves I have had, if perhaps not the best. So I say, whatever you do this Saturday night, surround yourself with friends and loved ones, don’t feel pressured to have a wonderful time, just make sure it’s memorable, and watch the fireworks on TV.

Staying with the Christmas and new year season and being an avid sports fan, I must say I have been delighted with the number of football matches on during this time.

I realise it is not everyone’s cup of tea – particularly highlighted by my mum’s appearance in the living room on Boxing Day only to catch a glimpse of the TV and exclaim “not football again” before making a swift exit. But I think there is something about this time of year and football that just goes together.

I know managers whine about fixture pile-ups and player fatigue, but I would be sad to see a winter break brought into the English game.

Seeing the fans dressed in Santa outfits (apart from the Geordies, who are of course bare-chested), meeting at the pub to watch a match and worrying about which games will be affected by snow is all part and parcel of the fun.

Finally, I couldn’t sign off without broaching the topic of New Year’s resolutions. I tend to not go in for them myself – best way not to break them in my opinion.

But this year I am making an exception and like many others have opted to try to get fit.

This will start, I assure you, with a two-mile run at 7am on January 3 and will continue at least three times a week for the forthcoming year.

Now that I’ve told you, feel free to ask me how I’m getting on when you see me and hopefully the fear of being caught out will spur me on.

Happy New Year and the best of luck to all those making resolutions (I think we will need it).