RAY DADSWELL’S PAUSE FOR THOUGHT: Christmas starts here

Almost everybody I meet at the moment is telling me: “The year has gone so quickly!”. As likely as not, we shall all soon be caught up in the Christmas rush. Traffic jams, crowded shops, frustrated children, and the rest.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was asked to share his thoughts in a recent television interview.

“The secular over-the-topness is ridiculous. It’s absurd. It puts pressure on relationships. It spoils life.”

He was referring specifically to what he considers the unnecessary spending and increase in debt that has become the norm for many as they prepare for the festive season.

The Rev Justin Welby might appear to be rather a killjoy, but he went on ...

“I want to say something positive. God gives us his Son Jesus Christ to give us life, a full life, abundant life. Giving at Christmas reflects the generosity of God, so be generous in a way that shows love and affection rather than trying to buy love and affection. You can’t buy it; you can show it. And when you show it, it comes back at you – with interest.”

If we can maintain a balance and a right perspective on December 25th, we are doing ourselves a service. Remembering the great kindness of God is good too. ‘Thanks be to God for his gift, precious beyond telling – his indescribable, inexpressible, free gift!’ (2 Corinthians 9, 15).

A few other comments to round off.

‘We are on the wrong track when we think of friendship as something to get, rather than something to give.’

‘Give with no strings attached, and you will receive in the same manner.’

And how about this?

‘One of the nice things about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with a present.’

A NEW IDEA

Save the Children are suggesting we ‘join the woolly revolution’. Make the world better with a sweater on Friday 13th December by wearing a Christmas jumper for the day and giving £1 or more to the charity.

Yes, why not?