I’m sitting here in Copenhagen Airport awaiting my flight to Helsinki and I’ve got to thinking. I’ve just spent several days wandering around the city taking in the Christmas preparation, the lights, the shop windows filled with appeal and the many decorated houses. Christmas is in full swing. Christmas markets, novelties to buy, assorted food offerings and Glogg!
Shortly I’ll be arriving in Helsinki and I’m expecting that it will be very similar. Markets, lights, food, festivities. The thing is, all around Europe people are preparing for Christmas. Nations have differing traditions, give gifts on differing nights and eat alternative foods. But basically we are all celebrating over the same time period. We, maybe, make an effort to catch up with relatives and friends. Our hearts turn outwards as we give gifts, meals and, hopefully kindness. For many there is a turning away from the woes of life, the worries, just for a moment.
I always remember the event that took place on the Somme during the First World War. You may know the tale so forgive me if I’m repeating.
A truce was organised for Christmas Day. No fighting. And during the day some soldiers got out of their trenches and began to play football in No Man’s Land. It wasn’t long before troops from the opposing trenches climbed out and joined in and a game took place. Guy’s who had spent months trying to kill each other now ran about kicking a ball because Christmas demanded a cessation in killing. I read some exchanged gifts. The following day they went back to killing. Can you believe such craziness?
What is it about Christmas that brings forth the better side of human nature. Many would declare the coming of the Christ child, but there are those who don’t believe who still find a better version of themselves at Christmas. And we come to this better person in many different ways and forms of celebration. But I would like to suggest we all arrive at the same point. Maybe something good, something better does enter the world anew at this time of year. And maybe it encourages us each to climb out of the trenches, to cease what we are doing, and seek something higher, nobler in ourselves. Many of us find it.
This all begs the question, why do we need Christmas to cause us to do so. Why can’t we just be that better version of ourselves going throughout the year and never climb back into the trenches?
Yours, being a better version of Wic in this season,