This year's Christmas card from the family is one that Isis made herself. It says 'Merry Christmas! Isis 2015. And it arrived on the very morning I did that Pause for Thought. I didn't stop laughing for nearly half an hour. I'd say that was pretty spectacular coincidence no.2. Actually, I'd call it a Christmas miracle.
In the 17th Century, the Christmas Mince Pies (yes, more meat...) were famous for having a little baby Jesus on the crust, which sounds rather nice, but was a horrifying act of blasphemous cannibalism in the eyes of Oliver Cromwell. It should be said, Olly was not a miserabilist most of the time, but he did feel Christmas was meant to be a period of holy reverence. Accordingly, he did away with it all, and even ordered the confiscation of Christmas dinners from people's tables. Strangely, attending church was also prohibited on Jesus' birthday, which seems a bit weird, even by his standards.