Every day we're offered a thought on one page and a list of practical suggestions on the other - the perfect balance between theology and real life.
Today we're invited to compile a Christmas wish list - 'not things you want to consume or purchase, but things to believe in, things to hope for'.
There are three items on my list:
- Take time to enjoy each other's company
My elder daughter's coming home for a fortnight. It'll be the first time we're all together since the summer and I'd like us to create a bank of happy memories to draw on until we meet again at Easter.
- Get out and about as much as possible.
When it's cold and wet the temptation is to stay indoors and watch too much telly. We could always switch it off and play a game or work on our traditional Christmas jigsaw, and I hope we'll find time for both. But I'd like us to try and get out of the house at least once a day - for a tramp through Leigh Woods, a stroll around the harbourside, a visit to a museum or an art gallery, an outdoor event ...
- Concentrate on what really matters
I've become increasingly overwhelmed by the pressure to deliver the perfect Christmas experience - the most sustainable sourced turkey, the most artistically decorated tree, the most politically correct cards, the most appropriate gifts, the most tasteful wrapping, the happiest family... The media bombards us with visions to aspire to. I often feel as if I've already failed before I even begin. I've got to keep reminding myself that none of this really matters. So I'm holding on to the baby, but some of the bathwater is going to have to go!
PS Sorry about the quality of the photo. I've tried and failed to achieve a higher resolution. Hey ho!