Boxing Day

A ‘Thought for the Day’ for Black Cat Radio

Merry Christmas!

It may not have been the Christmas Day you were hoping for or expecting but I hope it was as good as it could be.

Now we’re on Boxing Day and you might wonder what that name is all about.

As it happens it has nothing to do with fighting or clearing up opened boxes. No-one’s exactly sure what it means but there are a few theories.

One idea is that it comes from the tradition of giving to the poor on St Stephen’s Day, which is the 26th December. This tradition started because St Stephen was not only Christianity’s first martyr but also known for being generous to the poor.

Another idea is that it comes from people seeking out boxes, or tips, from rich people they’d worked for during the year.

And a final idea is that it comes from servants being given the day off to celebrate Christmas after having to work on Christmas Day.

Now of course it’s connected with turkey sandwiches, sports and sales.

Whatever the reason for the name Boxing Day, though, and however we spend it, it really doesn’t mean the end of Christmas. In fact, in the church’s year it’s only day 2 of the twelve days of the Christmas season. But, even without that, there’s no reason why we can’t try to keep some of the Christmas spirit of giving, hope and togetherness alive all year round.

After all, the Christmas message isn’t just about making one day different but about making all days different, all year round.

So, Happy Boxing Day and best wishes for the New Year!


Christmas lights

A Thought for the Day for Black Cat Radio on 12th December 2020

Hello, I hope you’re all keeping well.

Walking around near where I live, I’ve noticed a lot of people have put their Christmas lights up outside. Some mutter that it’s too early, but I think this year, of all years, we need to cut each other some slack and appreciate people putting in the effort to brighten things up a bit. The lights on the houses are all different from one another and give a lovely variety to look at in the dark. I find them very cheering.

The desire for light in the darkness is very old, going back to the days when our earliest ancestors would huddle round a fire at night for warmth, light, and safety. With light we can see where we are going, know who and what is around, and feel a bit safer. On one of my recent walks, I nearly bumped into someone walking her dog on an unlit pathway. This was not only embarrassing but we also both thought that a light would’ve made that part of the walk so much nicer.

Christmas, like many festivals and celebrations at this time of year, is all about light. Not just physical light, although there’s plenty of that with bright stars, shining angels, and so on, but a spiritual and inner light. The story of God coming to earth as a human baby brings light to many by offering comfort, hope and joy. It also reassures us God is not some far-off man with a beard sitting on a cloud. Rather, God comes right down into the darkness and mess to share our lives, help us cope with darkness and difficulty, and show us a better, more fulfilling, more loving way to live.

So, as we go towards Christmas, and look forward to the Covid-19 vaccine hopefully making a difference next year, why not remind yourself of the story of that first Christmas and see if there’s light in it for you?


Take care


Having Fun?

A ‘Thought for the Day’ for Black Cat Radio on 14th December 2019

I’m writing this on election day. By the time you hear it we’ll know what the result is and, whatever it is, I hope it’s a good one for our country and especially the most vulnerable people in it.

I don’t know about you, but I can get a bit fed up with hearing about politics all the time but I do enjoy seeing the pictures of dogs at polling stations, which bring some fun into things. It’s easy to forget about having a bit of fun when everything seems big and important and stressful, and not just when we’re talking about politics.

In the run up to Christmas as well we can get overwhelmed with lists and busyness and buying enough food for an army and feeling like we have to get everything perfect. We might also feel left out if we don’t have big family gatherings planned or if we’re grieving for someone. In all the pressure for the perfect Christmas we can also forget that actually it doesn’t matter in the long run if the potatoes are a bit burnt or we forget to get the cat a present. Also, that perfect Christmas Day is a myth – it’s more likely that the kids will get overexcited, there’ll be an argument and everyone will fall asleep in front of the telly.

All we really need is people we love, whether it’s one friend or a big family, a bit of a laugh, and perhaps to remember that behind all the decorations and food and presents there’s a small baby, born in a stable, who has changed everything for all of us and offers what really matters: love, joy and peace  – even in the chaos of Christmas preparations.

With best wishes for a happy and fun-filled Christmas.