Christmas Message

Sleigh Ride conjures images of Christmas, set to infectious music. It tells us “ These wonderful things are the things we remember all through our lives”. That song is part of the magic of Christmas. I always look forward to hearing local schoolchildren play it at the annual Carol concert.

On my recent visit to Bearwood School questions on the role of an MP soon became a more lively exchange about Christmas. Young eyes fired when I asked them for their view of Christmas. They all thought it was a time to be happy, to relax in the warmth of their families and to enjoy the special treats and presents that the season brings in most homes. As children get older so they learn the rhythms, traditions, words and music of Christmastide. It stays with them for the rest of their lives, though the wonder is probably brightest when it first fills a young mind.

All accept that at Christmas we should be friendly to others. We should say thank you for all those who have worked hard for us and our community. It is a time to remember service. It is also a time to extend friendship and kindness more widely. Visiting elderly neighbours or relatives who might be lonely, inviting people with no warm home to go to into our homes, ensuring young people who lack family support have presents and some cheer is all part of the tradition of the season.

I still love Christmas. Making the puddings, enjoying the turkey, decking the house, seeing the reflections of the tree lights in the bay window, exchanging presents and cards are all part of a special time. Betjeman painted a picture of Christmas that included some of his wry irreverence, but even he expressed the joy as well. “And girls in slacks remember Dad. And oafish louts remember Mum. And sleepless childrens hearts are glad. And Christmas morning bells say “Come””

I wish you and yours such a happy Christmas. Small acts of kindness, acts of love and memory are more important than the cost of the present. Christmas is a time to be generous to others in spirit, and to recognise the good in others. Let’s all try to add some magic and do something wonderful, so we will all share great memories of a Christmas well spent.


  1. Tad Davison
    December 24, 2013

    Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you for such lively and informative debate.

    Tad Davison


  2. M Davis
    December 24, 2013

    That is so lovely, JR! And thank you for all your hard work in producing a very informative blog that is a daily must for me. I wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas!

  3. Bazman
    December 24, 2013

    Black Eye Friday. The last Friday before Christmas was quiet his year in my home town according to the police. Though I spotted a few today on various people, some who should be old enough to know better.
    Merry Christmas to everyone, even my enemies. LOL!

    1. Tad Davison
      December 25, 2013

      I know we don’t always agree Baz, and I don’t doubt we’ll have other disagreements, but I wouldn’t regard myself as your enemy. Merry Christmas and may the new year be a prosperous one.


  4. APL
    December 24, 2013

    Best wishes for Christmas and the new Year.

  5. Brian Tomkinson
    December 24, 2013

    A very happy Christmas to you, John, and all your blog readers and contributors.

  6. margaret brandreth-j
    December 25, 2013

    Happy Christmas to all. As we think about new birth , it is fitting to think of how we can shape our country for our own children and grandchildren.We remember the biblical christmas text which has been repeated year after year since childhood. I believe that even agnostics or athiests absorb the central message of care for the humble and love amongst all . We must enjoy what we have and preserve and conserve what is good for the sake of our children.
    I hope all can revel in the spirit of Christmas and understand exactly what it is we have and build on that.

  7. Edward2
    December 25, 2013

    A wonderfully written essay which explains all we need to consider at this special time.

    And many thanks for your informative and interesting daily articles.
    I feel privileged to be just a part of your very special site.

  8. Excalibur
    December 25, 2013

    It is a privilege to be able to have a voice through your columns, JR. Thank you. Christmas best wishes to you and yours.

  9. Leslie Singleton
    December 25, 2013

    John–A heartwarming message–Merry Xmas, Happy New Year and keep up the good work–Your blog is light years more fun, informative and easy to use than the rest.

  10. Kenneth
    December 25, 2013

    What a lovely message.

    Merry Christmas to you John and all fellow contributors

  11. Lindsay McDougall
    December 28, 2013

    A good message, not least because it is mainly secular in nature. Now that Christmas is over, we can remember that Christ was probably born in the summer of 6 BC and that Joseph was a cuckold. King Herod died in 4 BC. So instead of celebrating the Millenium one year too early, Tony Blair celebrated it 5 years too late. The feast of Christmas took over from the old Pagan Winter Solstice celebration but they were four days out with the date. So what? None of us think that is worth causing chaos by correcting these errors.

    Rather more important to seekers of historical truth is that Christ was probably a militant Jewish zealot and not the benign Essene created by St Paul’s revisionism, and that Damascus was not the city in Syria but an alternative name for the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.

    Happy New Year – yet another arbitrary date!

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