Christmas Message – East Lothian Courier – 22 December 2023


Season’s greetings. We may even have a White Christmas though that brings issues for some, as well as pleasure for many. But I hope all have as good a Christmas and New Year as they can and be surrounded by family and friends.

It has been hard for many this year but it’s an opportunity to relax, meet and share quality time. It is a special time of year whether for those of faith to celebrate or simply for others to enjoy. So, let’s enjoy it as best we can and look forward to the New Year.

This year we don’t have the complications of lockdown though we need to remember some still live with it as long Covid afflicts some, and others still grieve for those that they’ve lost. But the break still allows us to meet up whether with those from far distances or near at hand.

That said it can also be a very lonely time for those who are isolated or have lost partners or loved ones. It is a time not just to bring all into the bosom of the family but to remember others nearby and elsewhere and reach out to them. It’s something that we can give and it’s not a present, simply some care and interest. Many do so throughout the year but at this time it’s especially important.

But the world is still a troubled place. War continues in Europe and as minds turn at this time of year to the Holy Land what is happening in Gaza is reprehensible. As we celebrate a child born in a manger in Bethlehem, it’s shameful that children are dying even in hospitals only some 40 miles down the road through lack of care facilities. Peace is required urgently. It shouldn’t just be words on a Christmas Card but must be policies pursued by Governments and international agencies.

We also have to remember that whilst we are off others are at work. Thanks as ever are due to those who require to work during the holidays. It must be hard to pull themselves away from family but do it and we shouldn’t take their service for granted.

But let’s look forward to the New Year with hope and optimism. There can be a better world and we all just need to do our bit. Happy Xmas and a Guid New Year.