Sunday, 17 December 2006



It seems as if, with every passing year, the true meaning of Christmas is becoming increasingly elusive, concealed as it so often is beneath the wrappings and ribbons of commercialism.

But those of us who care simply have to try to keep the true spirit of the season alive. As Charles Dickens has Scrooge's nephew observe:
"I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that- as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!"
And here's a carol for Christmas from another literary master...

G.K. Chesterton

The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world's desire.)

The Christ-child stood on Mary's knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.


Lynne said...

Brian, that's lovely. Thank you for sharing both Dickens' quote and Chesterton's poem. It is so hard to keep Christmas as it should be kept, with the world being what it is these days. But this entry has infused a bit of true Christmas warmth into my heart.

Thank you also for the lovely card. It cheered my day wonderfully.

Bless you and yours and have a very Merry Christmas, dear Brian.


Suzanne said...

So true! It's such a shame. I was particularly shocked when I heard that the Post Office were excluding any religious reference on their Christmas stamps. And we ended up with one where Father Christmas looks like he's sitting on the loo!

Scrooge said...

Christmas is what you make it.This year, my best moment was delivering toys to a collection point for charities making up parcels for needy kids in inner-city Nottingham. The people handling these toys don't have much more than the kids they are going to but they work tirelessly for free to make sure it all finds a home. The need is such that the charity workers taking the toys for the children in their care clean out everything - that included four mugs left by the workers kettle !

Brian Sibley said...

Thank you, Mr Scrooge...