In the last few days of term, there is a lot of talk about Christmas, and reflection on what it means. The pupils hear a lot about the original Christmas story, which for many will have great meaning, and for some will be the most important thing about this coming holiday.
For all, I think that it is worth reflecting on the Christmas story, and its meaning, as we were encouraged to when Mr Masters talked to the school about the importance of humility, or Windsor's spoke about the significance of gratitude.
Of course, for some, Christmas will be a rush of presents, parties and celebrations, and of course these all have a place in Christmas in the 21st century. For others, Christmas will be about friends and family, seeing people that you haven’t seen for a while, getting together, and strengthening those bonds. For still others, Christmas will be about food.
For some people, of course, Christmas won’t have much food, and it won’t have any friends or family. There won’t be a party, or a celebration, and there certainly won’t be any presents. There won’t be much consolation, when faced with the struggles that some will face at Christmas. For some people, Christmas is an even lonelier and more difficult time than any other in the year.
So this is what I asked the school to try to do: enjoy your food. Do celebrate with friends and family, do enjoy getting and giving presents, and do remember the promises of hope that the first Christmas brought to the world.
We enjoyed that message, in the recent Carol Service, with the Choir singing beautifully, followed by a delicious Christmas lunch. But remember those who are not as fortunate, and give some thought to what you could do to help someone. Perhaps you have an elderly neighbour, who would love to talk over a cup of tea. Maybe you get a present that you don’t want, but would be welcome for someone who might not get anything. Maybe you have a friend, who isn’t feeling great about things, but would really benefit from a message or a visit. Maybe you could just think about being that bit more helpful about the house at home, do some chores without being asked, and make a difference to the quality of someone else’s life.
Even if the first Christmas isn’t a big part of your world view, the message that we should all be kinder to one another, show humility and gratitude, and think of others is one that we should all remember at this time of year.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for an excellent term, and to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. I look forward to seeing you back in 2020!