I’m sure that many of us are familiar with the words of the poem above by ‘Christina Rossetti’. Even the most unreligious of us will, at some point over the Christmas period encounter a reminder of the birth of Jesus, whether through a carol service, a nativity play or just a Christmas card bearing a nativity scene. It resonates with all of us during this time in one way or another even if it’s only the childhood memories of attending Sunday school, but the one thing that stands out for me is the word LOVE.
‘So these three things remain.. Faith, Hope, and Love but the best one of these is Love’
It’s a small word but one that really comes into its own at Christmas time, and although we all feel love for those that are closest to us, that feeling seems to really shine through as we prepare for the one time of year when everyone ‘cares for each other just a little bit more’. We smile at people we pass in the street and time is made for family and friends who may have been neglected in the busyness of our year. We begin to put some extra thought into the needs and desires of others, and just as the three wise men brought their gifts to Jesus their newborn king, we begin to work through our present list and decide what to give as an offering of our love.
Christmas for me is not just about Christmas day or the presents we give and receive, but the whole process. It’s the thinking, the buying, the putting up of the tree, the decorating, the making of mince pies, the shoveling of snow (if we are lucky to have some). It’s about the love that grows in our hearts during the weeks before, as we make our way to the one big day, and even if the turkey gets burnt or the wrong present was brought we are together, sharing special time with those who matter to us the most.
Of course Christmas can be a really tough time too, and for many of us it will be a time when we remember the love we have lost, the love of and for a parent or family member who has passed away, or the loss of a love that didn’t continue in the way we had hoped. It can be a lonely time for many but it can also be a time to reach out, unwrap that bit of ourselves that we keep hidden, and give something extra to someone in need.
We are told that many years ago ‘love came down at Christmas’ in the form a baby boy, as God shared his love with the world, and in just a few days time we will be cozied up with family and friends sharing our love with and for each other.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a really Happy and Joyful Christmas, with the hope that as you give and receive the gifts from under your tree that you will also be surrounded by the gift of love.
love Alison x