That’s the Spirit by Trevor Plumbly



Tis the season

It’s that time again, according to our religious leaders, and of course shopkeepers, a time of celebration and giving. Due to family circumstances I’ve never really been a Christmas person. Children naturally parade their possessions like a thermometer of their parents regard especially at this time, and it’s equally natural for those at the bottom of the social scale to feel envy and resentful. Looking back I certainly did. I don’t dwell on those early years to any great effect but they do cause me to reflect on the impact the season has on those that simply ‘have not.’ I often wonder at the stress my mother must have gone through every year to put something together for us, but surely in today’s world of market bombardment, ease of credit access and a philosophy of entitlement, those struggling to make ends meet must find it even harder to meet their children’s expectations.

Up to the present

These days, with the advantage of the years, we adopt a more practical approach to giving and confine our extravagances to the grandchildren. Fortunately we seem to meet most of what they regard as their ‘needs’, sharing their excitement is almost a gift in itself. There’s a lot to be thankful for at this time but if, like us you’re among the lucky ones, there’s a lot to reflect on too. I don’t think City Missions existed in my childhood, but today they play an incredible role in bringing Christmas home to those less fortunate than the vast majority of you reading this.

I will enjoy Christmas and all it brings, I’ll enjoy the carols, the kid’s excitement, and the closeness of family and of course overindulgence, but I’ll still look back and reflect, I guess that in itself provides some sort of emotional counterbalance. Once again this year, far too many people will line up to receive parcels or food from those prepared to share Christmas in a more positive way than most. I won’t be among those handing out gifts at the City Mission or serving food, but I will give a percentage of what our dinner will cost to help the unlucky with theirs. Please try to support your City Mission this year, then we can all have something to sing about.


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