After the busy, noisy celebration of Christmas, the slower pace and restfulness of this week between Christmas and New Year’s is refreshing. But if the good news we just celebrated is true, then peace and rest mean much more than a temporary time of relief in our schedule. There is a peace and rest available to us that is deep enough to remain even in the most hectic times, and secure enough to withstand the most severe troubles. This peace and rest came to us because of Christmas, but they are not presents—they are found in a person. That’s what I’ve tried to capture in these two poems:Continue reading Peace And Rest
A Christmas Selection Box 2022
It’s traditional in Ireland to give chocolate selection boxes at Christmas, with a variety of different treats inside. Unfortunately, I can’t share that chocolate with you over the internet. I wish I could, because Irish chocolate really is some of the best in the world and I’m not the only one who thinks so. But I can’t give you that, so instead I’ve collected a few Christmas treats for you from around the internet. Enjoy!Continue reading A Christmas Selection Box 2022
Hope > Optimism
I hope you have a happy Christmas, or a merry Christmas if you say it that way, and a happy New Year. I hope your celebrations this month are trouble-free and full of joy, and I hope 2023 is better for you than 2022. Of course there’s probably nothing I can do to actually make that happen for most of you, but I hope it for you anyway. We don’t know what’s around the next corner, so we might as well be optimistic about it.
I’ve always been an optimist. I’ve got so much optimism I can be an optimist for you as well, if you want me to. I can believe all the best things about your future and mine. It comes naturally for me, so it’s no trouble. The only trouble with the whole thing is the trouble that keeps popping up and spoiling my optimistic outlooks. Sometimes everything doesn’t work out. Sometimes it’s not ok. Sometimes it’s not grand, it’s not good, and it’s not even fine. As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes my optimism is just plain wrong. So I still hope you have a happy Christmas, but I’m also painfully aware that my positive thoughts won’t be able to make that happen for you.Continue reading Hope > Optimism
A Christmas Selection Box 2021
It’s traditional in Ireland to give chocolate selection boxes at Christmas, with a variety of different treats inside. I can’t share chocolate with you over the internet, so I’ve put together a different kind of selection box for you, full of different kinds of Christmas treats from different kinds of people. Enjoy!Continue reading A Christmas Selection Box 2021
A Great Way To Make Friends
He put down his coffee cup and summarised the problem:
“All I do is work, and take care of the children. When I get free time, I’m tired. I could go out, but what would I do? I don’t have friends to go anywhere with.”
He’s lonely. And he’s not the only one. He may not realise it, but he’s got plenty of company in that feeling. There are so many variations of it, in so many different kinds of people—married, single, young, old—and the feel-good Christmas movies and songs playing constantly right now only highlight the problem more.Continue reading A Great Way To Make Friends
Tidings Of Comfort
“I’m just not feeling as festive this year,” said my eleven-year-old son, this morning, Christmas Eve.
“I know. It’s harder for everyone, I think.” What else could I say? It may be “the most wonderful time of the year,” but in 2020, that’s not saying a lot.
Normally at Christmas, when we sing lines like “tidings of comfort and joy” we focus primarily on the “joy.” I do, anyway. I like to think of Christmas as a happy time, a time of celebration and rejoicing. In all my Christmases, I can’t remember ever thinking much at all about the other word: “comfort.”
Until this year.Continue reading Tidings Of Comfort
An Irish Christmas Selection Box
It’s Christmas week, and we’ve already ended up with more chocolate selection boxes than is good for us, which is traditional. I can’t share those with you, but I would like to share a selection box of some of the things I’ve enjoyed online from Ireland this Christmas season…Continue reading An Irish Christmas Selection Box
The night before Christmas 2020 (a spoken word poem)
This year is different. We all feel the tension between it and our holiday celebrations. That’s what this spoken word poem is about:Continue reading The night before Christmas 2020 (a spoken word poem)
Away In A Graveyard (A Poem For Christmas)
Away in a manger
The little Lord cried:
Perfection’s not proven
By unfeeling eyes
Is It Really More Blessed To Give?
All you have to do is look at a shop window, and you’ll know that the season of giving is fast approaching. Along the way, we’re likely to be reminded of Jesus’ teaching that “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.
Really?Continue reading Is It Really More Blessed To Give?