The annual commemoration of the birth of Our Saviour occurs during the darkest days of December and at the end of the calendar year. In fact, many of the seasonal greetings used at this time combine wishes for both Christmas and the New Year: joy at the birth of Christ and an expression of hope for the year ahead.
Of all the celebrations in the calendar, Christmas is the one that people celebrate the most. It is the one for which we travel home and it is the one during which we reach out to others. The joyful prayer of Simeon at the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, ‘for my eyes have seen the salvation that you have prepared for all nations’ is the cause of our Christmas joy. Christ is our Saviour!
This year, that joyful Christmas celebration and that sense of light and hope is needed more than ever. Many will understandably feel that 2020 will be a year best forgotten and fewer will face the New Year with the apprehension they may usually have on New Year’s Eve.