Milverton, Somerset

From the Vicarage in December

Getting ready for Christmas? As the shops get busier and deliveries increase so does the excitement and the stress of getting everything “just right” for a memorable Christmas.

The “Christmas adverts” on TV this year are very interesting, several are pushing the point that we can break with tradition and do things our own way. No two homes will be celebrating in exactly the same way, some may choose to ignore all the traditions and others cannot wait to get the decorations up and presents wrapped; some would like to do that but cannot afford to, others will rely on the charity of others to receive food, warmth and friendship if only for a few hours.

In our church life we are preparing too…flowers, trees and decorations, carol services everywhere, in Halse we will make lanterns for Halse by candlelight on 10 December at 2pm, in Milverton Sanctuary Crafting will be making angels on 13 December 6-9pm and the Busy Bees will also have made angels. Our way of preparing for the celebration of the birth of Jesus along with our special services culminating in Carols in the Cowshed on Christmas Eve at 4pm at Houndsmoor Farm, with the cash collection for Open Door in Taunton to support those who are homeless, and a traditional Midnight Mass at 11.30pm at Fitzhead.

Making memories is a huge part of Christmas, special times together, moments of joy, photographs, handed down recipes, decorations made by our children, songs to be sung, films to be rewatched, moments to treasure. This can also mean that for many of us there is a sadness too, changed times, lost or sick loved ones, we may want to just be left alone with our memories as all around us party and celebrate.

Our churches will all be open on Christmas day for those who need time to themselves, to remember, to reflect, to pray. Maybe to focus on the crib, the figures in the stable, no tree, no roast dinner, just people gathered around a baby in a manger, a sign of hope, a gift for us all, the gift of Love from God.

However you choose to spend Christmas this year I pray that you might know that Love and peace.