At the heart of Christmas is the Bethlehem babe, who later went on to preach that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. Not instead of ourselves or despite ourselves but as ourselves. The all-inclusive love Jesus was teaching, therefore, includes the call to each of us to look after "number one", too.
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.
It breaks my heart to think that if she finds out Santa is made up then God and Jesus will go with him. I couldn't handle that because my jaded, patchy grown-up's faith is so strengthened by her perfect child-like one. At this time of year I need that more than ever; I honestly don't know how people survive Christmas without Christ.
Jesus and I have been separated a few years now. Well, we're divorced actually. Now, I know that whenever a marriage fails it's always the other person's fault and I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I had really, really tried to make it work. In the end, it was his moody silence that finished it off for me; all those years of absence...