Friday, December 14, 2007

The bad news at Christmas.

Peace, goodwill and joy to all men. That is until you read some of your Christmas cards.

The news of that separation or divorce can no longer be put off and will either be explained, or a signature is just missing from the card. Someone's mother has breast cancer, someone else has a depressing diagnosis.

The cards often contain instructions on how this news should be treated - we are looking for the positives, please just don't ask me, or my favourite from Terry Pratchett on the news that he has early onset Alzhiemers:

    "I know it's a very human thing to say 'Is there anything I can do?' but in this case I would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry."

As I get older I imagine we can expect much more of this sort of thing in our Christmas post, maybe even in the cards I write.

However it would be perhaps to forget the message of Christmas to let it remove the hope of Christmas. Christmas is about hope. I can remember the odd feeling of being at the hospital for the birth of our first child and realising that on average this was a happy place. Normally hospitals about trying to come out alive - but with birth there's new life (and an upbeat gift shop on the ground floor ). So to me also the birth of Jesus offers hope for this life and through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross the next. We all need hope in our hearts for whatever we face.

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