Letter from Fr Michael

Dear Friends,

REAL CHRISTMAS

Every year somebody will say to me "it seems that Christmas is too commercial" I remember, just a few weeks ago, reading in the paper "Prime Minister saves Christmas". Let us be clear: real Christmas, the birth of Jesus, is God's gift to us all. Some restrictions may make it a little different - but the joy of Christmas remains.

I can look back over seventy Christmases - so, let's go back to 1947 - when I was three and a half. Sights and smells of Christmas Eve - my Granny took me to Church for the Blessing of the Crib. There was the sweet smell of incense mingled with polish. There were candles and greenery everywhere. The Crib was large and I looked at it with a sense of wonder - I couldn't put it into words but the long ago memory of Christ Church on Christmas Eve is with me still.

Christmas Day was a family occasion - Grandparents, Parents, Aunts and Uncles all crowded round the dining table. Fuel was in short supply but Granny had somehow obtained some extra coal and there was a much bigger fire than usual. Yes, we had a Christmas tree - but I didn't receive loads and loads of presents. My pride and joy was a highly coloured 'humming top' - does anybody remember them? I'm told that the grown-ups got a bit fed up with the humming and erratic movements on the floor. Apparently my father hid it away for the rest of the day !

Now in 2021 we are once more preparing for Christmas. Carols, crackers, a decorated tree - and in many homes a real feast and a host of presents. I hope that each one of us will have a happy and peaceful day, remembering that our celebrations are centred on a stable in Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus. May we echo the angels song "Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth".

Every Blessing and Happy Christmas,

 

Fr. Michael

P.S. See you in church!


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