Quentin Blake, famous for his illustrations in Roald Dahl books, is one of my absolute favourite artists. His version of ‘A Christmas Carol‘ is brilliant.
In 1988, Roald Dahl composed a festive poem for Great Ormond Street Hospital, illustrated by Quentin Blake. It’s a Christmas cracker. As the festive season is upon us, here’s a slightly, well, alternative Christmas rhyme from Roald Dahl…
“Where art thou, Mother Christmas?
I only wish I knew
Why Father should get all the praise
And no one mentions you.
I’ll bet you buy the presents
And wrap them large and small
While all the time that rotten swine
Pretends he’s done it all.
So Hail To Mother Christmas
Who shoulders all the work!
And down with Father Christmas,
That unmitigated jerk!”
There may be people in your life who pretend they’ve done it all when you have shouldered the work. Or you may have to shoulder the work during the festive season as your loved ones are ill or absent. We’ve all shouldered the weight of the global pandemic this year.
As with the clapping during the pandemic, let’s spend today remembering those who shoulder the work during Christmas, especially those who serve their communities (as members of the armed forces, medical practitioners, emergency services, vicars etc) as the rest of us celebrate.
If you are someone working during Christmas then perhaps you would like to use this prayer…
Loving God, on this sacred day, I am going to work. There is something special about working on Christmas, when so many others are home with loved ones. My work today might even have a wondrous sense of service and necessity. But it doesn’t always feel noble and inside me there is a struggle: I wish I could stay home. Help me to feel missioned by you today. Let me recognise the unique way my co-workers and I are called to serve our brothers and sisters. Let me take just a moment in this quiet to feel your deep love for me. May I carry that sense of peace with me as the light of your love, shining on everyone I come in contact with today. Amen.
Of course there are other people that we can remember during advent – those who were part of the original story. Maybe you have a particular favourite because you got to be that character in the school nativity? Perhaps you have a favourite because you resonate with their role in the story? Maybe you have a family heirloom angel on your tree and that’s what reminds you to reflect on the story…
Is there someone you know who is working this Christmas who may benefit from a phonecall to remind them they are loved? You could begin the call with “did you know my favourite character in the Nativity is…”
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