I love Advent and Christmas. One of my favourite times of year.
Now we do things so simply at home, I love it even more. We give a gift from our household to our very old grandmother and to the two small grandchildren. Other than that, no gifts; and we send very few cards.
Some of us like to decorate the house, so they do, and I have a beautiful Nativity set.
On Christmas Eve I do a children’s service for the littlies in the Methodist church just across the valley from our house. We sing carols with friends outside the supermarket.
On Christmas Day, we eat something nice, but no greater amount than normal, and nothing expensive. We keep it simple.
And this year, I am trying a new kind of Advent calendar.
Our present UK national administration is harsh and greedy, violent and unkind. Very warlike, very hard on the poor and disabled. This winter, many more have been made homeless, reduced to abject poverty, lost the financial support from the government they needed to manage. The call on help from food banks has drastically increased.
So every day through Advent it’s my plan to walk along to the supermarket and buy something for the food bank box put out there. As I walk along, I will pray for the people who are hungry and desperate, worried and frightened, unable to pay their bills. And for everyone who is homeless or a refugee.
And I will think about Mary and Joseph walking through Advent to Bethlehem; where there was no room and they had to sleep in a stable, from where they fled persecution and became refugees.
It’s only a small plan, but a happy one I think.
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* Image at the top is The people that walked in darkness by Hebe Wilcock.