Well we’ve been hammered with all the Poppy day propaganda (although not much from the Poppy day organisation [wasn’t it once the Haige Fund?]) wonderful pictures which could be called “Click Bait” (a method of gaining thousands of “Likes” and “Shares” so the site is more appealing to advertisers therefore a money spinner and not always for the benefit of others) They say it is in aid of the British service personnel but what about the millions of civilians killed, maimed, made homeless because of war? Looking at the news it would appear that we have no time for them at all. We make up stories about the grand houses and cars the refugees are given the vast amount of money they are given and all the jobs they are taking. In our heart of hearts we know that this is all poppycock and not true. However the old saying is coming to pass “give a dog a bad name – then kick him”

And so next is Christmas the second most important season of the Christian calendar. All will be self-righteous and pontificating about how Christmas is for the kids, how much they spend on presents, how drunk they plan to get, some will even to calling it “Winterville” or “Wintertide” in order to be “politically correct” what tosh! Christmas has become the time for businesses to make a mint and to fleece the citizens of every last penny. Over Christmas I wonder how many will even step inside a church and say – even quietly under their breath – Happy Birthday Jesus.

         Christmas

The bells of waiting Advent ring,

The tortoise stove is lit again

And lamp-oil light across the night

Has caught the streaks of winter rain

In many a stained glass window sheen

From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green

The holly in the windy hedge

And round the Manor House the yew

Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge

The altar, font and arch and pew

So that villagers can say

“The church looks nice” on Christmas Day

Provincial public houses blaze

And Corporation tramcars clang,

On lighted tenements I gaze

Where paper decorations hang,

And bunting in the red Town Hall

Says “Merry Christmas to You All”

And girls in slacks remember Dad

And Oafish louts remember Mum,

And sleepless children’s hearts are glad

And Christmas-Morning bells say “Come”

Even to shining ones who dwell

Safe in the Dorchester Hotel

And is it true? And is it true

This most tremendous tale of all,

Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue

A Baby in an ox’s stall?

The maker of the stars and sea

Became a Child on earth for me?

And is it true? For if it is,

No loving fingers tying strings

Around the tissued fripperies

The sweet and silly Christmas things,

Bath salts and inexpensive scent

And hideous tie so kindly meant

No love that in a family dwells,

No carolling in frosty air,

Nor all the steeple shaking bells

Can with this simple truth compare —

That God was Man in Palestine

And lives today in Bread and Wine

John Betjeman.

Happy Christmas everyone