Season of Goodwill

As we experience another Black Friday, rushing around trying to out-spend each other, fighting each other to obtain another useless item that will end up gathering dust as the days pass.

Let us give a thought for all those less fortunate, those who are fighting to maintain a living and keep a roof over the heads of their children. Living in dread each time the letter box rattles, announcing another unpaid red letter. Spending weeks trying to find something affordable to compensate for the item their child truly wants. Knowing that on Christmas morn there will be unspoken disappointments and signs of well-hidden anti-climaxes that pull at a parent’s heart strings, as their children inform them that the toy they so early opened was exactly the one they wanted!

Well, it is not fine, it is unacceptable! When there are families living among us who are struggling to eat and heat their loved ones. It is unfair when parents have to go without food or new clothes to be able to provide the basic needs for their children. Every time a “jingle bells” echoes out of overpriced toy shops, a parent is filled with shame and remorse, as they were once again unable to save any extra money this year. The “season to be jolly” is met with countless nights trying to find a way to make a pound magically turn into five, ten or fifty.  No elves or fairies to make these dreams come true!

The story of Christmas is about a humble family travelling to pay their taxes – Mary and Joseph lived was part of the Roman Empire. The Roman Emperor Augustus wanted to have a list of all the people in the empire, to make sure they paid their taxes. They had no-where to stay and even though Mary was 9 months pregnant, they were turned away from every inn where they sought refuge. Eventually, a kind innkeeper allowed them to stay in a make-shift room where the animals lived……..a child was born!

It saddens me that there is this amazing tale of hope, love, kindness, compassion and charity, and yet, we ignore the theme

Maybe this year, we will be the ones who see the world through the eyes of the unfortunate child whose only hope is that they will not go hungry another day. If we can stand in the shoes of that struggling parent whose only pray is that the bailiffs will not be banging down the door in the New Year.  This is the season of goodwill….may we all find compassion within our hearts… MM


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