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A Quiet Word – December 2021

Last month we reflected on Advent and what it means for us as
we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas in
Bethlehem. The Christmas story, with its vivid imagery of the
angels, visiting Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and then the shepherds,
builds to a wonderful climax with the good news of great joy shared in that little
town that Jesus, the promised Saviour, had come. But was it the end? While for
some Christmas usually ends on New Year’s Day when all the decorations are taken
down and packed away, there is an important event left to come. Epiphany,
celebrated on January 6th, marks the wise men’s visit to the infant Jesus and the
culmination of the twelve days of Christmas that begins on 26th December. And
whilst on the subject, I thought I would share a humorous, poetic version here:
On the first day of Christmas my true love said to me…. I’m glad we bought fresh
turkey and a proper Christmas tree. On the second day of Christmas much laughter
could be heard…. as we tucked into our turkey, a most delicious bird. On the third
day we entertained the people from next door…. the turkey tasted just as good
as it had the day before. Day four, the relations came to stay – poor Gran is looking
old…. we finished up the Christmas pud and ate the turkey cold. On the fifth day
of Christmas, outside the snowflakes flurried…. but we were nice and warm inside
for we had our turkey curried. On the sixth day I must admit the Christmas spirit
died…. The children fought and bickered, we ate turkey rissoles fried. On the
seventh day of Christmas, my true love he did wince…. when he sat down at table
and was offered turkey mince. Day eight, and nerves were getting frayed, the dog
had run for shelter…. I served up turkey pancakes with a glass of Alka Seltzer. On
the ninth day our cat left home, by lunchtime Dad was blotto…. he said he had to
have a drink to face turkey risotto. By the tenth day the booze had gone (except
our home-made brew) … And if that wasn’t bad enough, we suffered turkey stew.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, the Christmas tree was moulting…. the mince
pies were as hard as rock and the turkey was revolting. On the twelfth day, my
true love had a smile upon his lips…. the guests had gone, the turkey too, and we
dined on fish & chips! [Origin Unknown.] The wise men were the first to recognise
Jesus as “King” and were the first to “reveal” Jesus to a wider world as the human
incarnate Christ and as “Immanuel” meaning God with us. Consequently, we
don’t have to take down our decorations until twelfth night – after Epiphany when
the wise men had visited Jesus. While we already have the assurance that Jesus’
birth brings us today, we can eagerly anticipate his arrival as though for the first
time. Amidst all the turkey, presents and spending time with family, let’s try to
remember this over the twelve days of Christmas and beyond.

Christmas blessings, prayers, and love.