A Christmas Carol...

I made a cup of tea and settled down to watch the news on television. Although outside the sound of fireworks was telling me that it was barely November, my TV had updated itself. It was nearly Christmas, it was saying, and it had added a channel that would allow me to watch as many sugary, sentimental Christmas films as I liked just to prove it. That, of course, along with all the snowy, tinselly commercials telling me where I should be doing my Christmas shopping this year, and what I should be buying.

No doubt at some point Dicken’s A Christmas Carol will be shown; Marley’s ghost will send the spirits to miserly old Scrooge once again, Scrooge will change his ways and not only stop being so mean to poor Bob Cratchit but actually end up wishing everyone a happy Christmas. Dickens, like everyone else, had an idea of how he thought Christmas should be.

It is sad when Christmas doesn’t live up to expectations – the family reunion doesn’t happen for some reason, the turkey is off and the Christmas cake tastes like a bullet. And yet when Boxing Day arrives you will still tell anyone who asks that yes, you had a wonderful Christmas!

It’s just when many people seem to think that Christmas is nearly over that Christians start to celebrate what for them is the meaning of Christmas – God’s gift of Himself, coming into the world as one of us to share the ups and downs of our lives. A gift for life, not just for Christmas, meaning that we are never alone.

I hope that your Christmas is all that you are hoping for it to be. And, in the words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, every one!"