CHRISTMAS MESSAGES 2012: A more modest Christmas for many this year

LOTS of people will be keeping a more modest Christmas the year. The state of the economy is reflected not only in how much is in our pocket but also in our uncertainty about our savings, or lack of them.

This does not mean that Christmas has to be gloomy, however. Our celebration of Christmas could be very good if we think less about presents and more about presence.

My biggest gift to my family and friends is not stuff, much of which they did not need and may not even want; it is my attention and my love. They want me to be there for them.

I am still sending quite a lot of Christmas cards because I want to connect, perhaps for the only time in the year, with people I do not see much but still think about and pray for.

A card through the door or a personal message on the screen is making our presence felt. I always look forward to my cousin’s Christmas text from Singapore.

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In the midst of all the busy-ness of Christmas, I shall make time to be still in the presence of God and thank Him for the free gift of Jesus His Son, a gift which costs us nothing, but a gift which brings us the hope of love and peace.

So many people - in Newtown, in Syria, maybe our own neighbours - will be sad this Christmas. Please remember them in your prayers and make your presence felt with peace and goodwill.

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