Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Why I Love Christmas

I am one of those who genuinely wishes it was Christmas every day.
Notwithstanding the downside - greed, rudeness, drunkenness, puke on every footpath and the inevitable disappointing tv output - it’s a wonderful time.
And it’s wonderful not just because of children, though they really do add a special dimension.
I loved Christmas long before Charlotte arrived. I just love it infinitely more now that she’s here and, well, kind of aware what’s going on.

I love Christmas because some, not all, people are nicer to each other than they normally are.
I love Christmas because, even if the actual television out put is lousy, I can choose to watch some of my favourite movies like It’s a Wonderful Life and Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Hard Day’s Night.
I love Christmas because I like buying presents.
I love Christmas because I like receiving presents.
I love Christmas because - especially now that I’m in a kind of isolation (seven months on from the bone marrow transplant, I’m not allowed into pubs or restaurants or crowded places) it’s good to see friends when they call around.
I love Christmas because I love the decorations and my wife Connie is the brilliant at it.
I love Christmas because there’s loads of rugby on.
I love Christmas in Ireland when it’s mild, which it is, which means we can go for a nice walk on Stephen’s Day.
I love Christmas because, in Ireland, we still choose to call it Christmas and not ‘Holiday.’ We do so because we are not afraid to do so.
I love Christmas because it reminds me of the joy of friends and family who are no longer with us. It’s wonderful to remember them at a happy time.
I love Christmas because of what it is, a celebration of the birth of Christ whose message is one of love and joy and peace.
I love Christmas because even the likes of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, those professional atheists, can’t ignore it.
I love Christmas because it reminds us of the gift we have been given by God, the gift of his Son, of life, of opportunity.
This is my 55th Christmas.
And I regard each one as special.
This one in particular is special.
It is special because I will spend it, in relatively good health with my wife Connie and our beautiful daughter Charlotte in our home in Dublin.
We are all facing into a tough year.
But we will, with God’s help, survive and come out strong when this man-made, greed-driven recession ends.
Have a happy Christmas.
And even if you don’t share my faith in God, remember that the message of Christ is for everyone, not just those who believe.
Be nice to one another.
And peace to all.

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