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A Christmas Wish for Hope- New Blog Post

Whilst I was browsing a well known Irish news site, I stumbled across a post showing the Christmas message from our president. The speech was the usual, what you would expect for a Christmas message. Scrolling down the page to the comments, the usual 'cheery' bunch started on about current dire straits we are in in this country.
"That's it" I thought. Any other time I would be in agreement with them, but this week is a time to be quiet about stuff like that. This Christmas week, regardless if you believe in it or not. You have to respect people who choose to celebrate it.
And this need not just be in a way that can just purely materialistic, think of the Charles Dickens tale 'A Christmas Carol', in particular about the lesson that story tells us about keeping Christmas well in our hearts. This would mean goodwill and love towards your fellow men or women. The thing to bear in mind is, no matter how bad and stupid the world gets the rest of the year, on this day we should be happy to be with the people we love or who are good acquaintance.

You need not be alone on this day, you are not invisible, there are people in this world that notice you. You matter.You are important. To quote 'Doctor Who', funnily enough one which DID in fact air on a Christmas Day 'You know that in nine hundred years of time and space and I've never met anybody who wasn't important before.'

However, if I get back to 'A Christmas Carol', some people might however point out that as well as showing Scrooge the good in this world that can occur at Christmas, he also gives Scrooge a glimpse into Ignorance and Want. Unfortunately this is something that is the case, but as the ghost himself tries to show Scrooge, these things can be overridden by a simple human kindness. However, as tragic at times as  the season can seem to be, that when something terrible has occurred in this world that makes people question our fidelity to kindness and goodness. The most important thing we must keep in our hearts at these difficult times is hope. 

If this season gives me one thing, it's that it gives me renewed hope in what seems to be a dark world at the moment. Take the imagery of the lighting of the Advent candles to make each Sunday before Christmas. This particular custom is one we take for granted, however it is one which could well date back to pre-Christian times when our Celtic ancestors used to light fires on the shortest days of the year. Perhaps our Celtic ancestors wanted to light the way for the coming of Spring, perhaps this is what gave them renewed hope. That's what the lighting of the Advent candles mean: hope and anticipation for the future, a hope that in the future maybe just maybe things might get better.

John Lennon in the song 'Imagine' sung the lyric 'You may say I'm a dreamer' , and maybe by all accounts people I may well be just that, a dreamer. But I believe in what this season in particular can do for people. In conclusion, I must once again reference that great tome that helped, for me to define what Christmas is at its core. I think my feeling on the season is best expressed by Scrooge's nephew Fred:



"There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say, Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round - apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that - as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it! "

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