Welcome to St Mary the Virgin, Widdington
Have your thoughts already turned to the planning of Christmas?  Have you started your Christmas shopping yet, or are you more of a ‘last-minute.com’ person?  Have you planned your Christmas visits to family & friends, or worked out which parents or children to spend the holiday with?  Have you booked a Christmas holiday or days in a hotel simply to get away from it all?

Every year there are the same decisions to make, and the same stresses upon us.  For many Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year.  I think that so many people want it to be ‘perfect’ or for the children or other members of the family to like their gifts.  People may worry that it won’t be as good as last year, or that the first year spent with a certain family member will be ok.  It may be that this is the first Christmas without a loved year because they have passed away.  Children may have grown up and moved away, and want their own Christmas.

Then there is the media bombarding us with images of the ‘perfect’ Christmas.  The supermarket adverts that show a table laden with sumptuous goodies.  The adverts for gifts galore, which may fall outside of your budget.  The Christmas festivities to attend on days leading up to Christmas, or the pantomimes beyond it.  The media sell us a picture of an idealised Christmas, and sometimes we try to live up to it.

Yet the event that is at the heart of Christmas was vastly different.  The birth of a baby in a stable outside of the inn that was full, and had no room for them.  It would have been cold.  It would have been dirty.  It would have been less than hygienic.  It was as far from the ideal place for the couple as it could have been.  Yet in that cold, dirty, unhygienic place Jesus, the Son of God, was born in human form.  Christmas, has Christ as its beginnings – the first six letters.  I believe that the birth of Jesus brings hope into a sometimes dark world.  Jesus the baby grew to be Jesus the man who chose to go to the cross for each one of us.  His birth is worth celebrating so please join us at our Carol Service, Crib Service or Christmas Morning service. 

This year try not let the stresses and worries of Christmas get to you.  It is time spent with family & friends that is most important.  Don’t worry about the food.  Don’t worry about the TV.  Don’t worry about the gifts.  You may find out that the simplest of Christmas celebrations may be the best ever.

Whatever you do; wherever you go; however you spend your Christmas time – I hope & pray that it is a good time.  I wish you all a very happy & blessed Christmas.