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.