Peace at Christmas
Happy Boxing Day!

Bouan Noué! Happy Christmas!

Bouan Noue - Happy Christmas (Jerriais)

Happy Christmas!

Wherever you are in the world, whatever language you speak, I pray you have a wonderful day.

If you're wondering what language I'm greeting you in today ... well, it's the native language of my island home - Jersey in the Channel Islands.

Bouan Noué!

That's 'Happy Christmas in Jèrriais, also known as Jersey Norman French and sometimes, Jersey French. But it's not a dialect of the French language. It's actually older than that and is an ancient form of the Norman language. 

I wrote about this in my daily blog back in February actually ... on International Mother Language Day. If you want to read more about the language which is the one which my ancestors will have spoken but which had declined a good deal until a resurgence in recent years... that February blog was called 'Bouônjour' - please feel click on the word to discover more about Jèrriais.

But back to Christmas

Today lots of us, God willing and the coronavirus allowing, will sit down with our families and friends. Many of us will be blessed with gifts, some more than others. For me, although I love the presents, of course, it's being with my family that is most important and sharing precious moments with them. Something that was not possible last year, thanks to COVID. So today will be very special, and quite emotional I think.

I'm aware, as I said yesterday, that not everyone is in my privileged position. I'm aware there will be people for whom today is lonely and sad ... people who have no one to share Christmas with or who will sorely miss a dearly loved one who has passed away, or who is no longer in their lives.

For some today will be a day for community. Here in Jersey and across the world, many churches, charities and other groups will host Christmas lunch or festivities for those who otherwise would be on their own. The Salvation Army (my church of choice) in many parts of the world will offer friendship and fun to millions of people in communities. It's a very special day ... not just for those who sit down to a meal, but also for the helpers, many of whom are volunteers from the community who might also spend the day alone were it not for their generosity of heart and spirit.

Today, of course, is also a sacred day for Christians. and many will include some spiritual reflection. Many millions of Christians attend church services, or masses, or vigils at midnight Christmas Eve into Christmas Day. Many will go to church on Christmas morning as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, God come to earth as a human being. What an absolute miracle!

So as I say 'Happy Christmas' or 'Bouan Noué!' and I wish you all a wonderful day and the blessings of the season, I can't let this moment pass without a special Christmas song.

Back in 1976 this was the Christmas Number One here in the UK and I fell in love with it then and have loved it ever since. It's been recorded by loads of artists but I still think this is the best version ... by Johnny Mathis.

For me When a Child is Born sums up what Christmas is all about. The anticipation, the sense of wonder, the coming of the Christ Child, and the goodwill that often surrounds us at this time of year. I love the introduction to this song here in this video and it pretty much says what I want to say this Christmas.

Let's make today a good one but let's not forget those who are less fortunate that ourselves. Let's not just enjoy the spirit of Christmas today, that sense of community and kindness and compassion, today but let's be determined to ensure that continues to live in our hearts and actions every day of the year.

And let's not forget the Reason for the Season - Jesus!

Have a great Christmas everyone.



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