Editorial: Love weighs greater than all the gifts we can bestow

Tidings of joy are easier to appreciate warming your hands before a fire than in a city doorway that has become your home for the night. The season of goodwill should allow the gift of time and love lost during the year to be rediscovered over the next few days – if we are lucky.

The circle of comfort should not come with impediments to kindness.

The 10,000 people still homeless, and the 100,000 waiting on hospital trolleys over the year, can’t be left out of the warm, fuzzy picture. Indeed, they are central to it. There’s no better place to rekindle the connection Christmas affords than in the jaded but caring eyes of those who work through the nights in our A&E units.

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It isn’t all sweetness and light. George Burns’s view – “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city” – may well ring true for many.

And to those who are away or feeling left out: home isn’t always where you are from, but where you have been fortunate enough to find a welcome.

Jaded, exhausted, and possibly bankrupt from trying to make “the magic happen”, there is an argument the dream born in a manger has been replaced by a perennial genuflection to conspicuous consumption.

Whatever the odds stacked against a happy Christmas, there are those who will battle relentlessly to deliver one. In ‘When God Created Mothers’, Erma Bombeck wrote: “When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of ‘overtime’ when the angel appeared and said, ‘You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.’ And God said, ‘Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts… all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers.

“Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.” The angel shook her head slowly and said, “Six pairs of hands… No way.”

“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”

“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel in awe…

With the passing of another year, the all-knowing children may be getting a little closer to understanding the folks are probably not perfect; but then, and here is the epiphany, neither are they.

Finally, it is noted that when the Three Wise Men completed their arduous journey under the bright shining star to bow before an infant emperor, they knew that of all the gifts they lay before Him, love weighed heavier than all their gold. May we wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas.

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