All is Calm, All is Bright: Love

For a Christian, the most wonderful thing about Christmas is the idea that God so loved the world that he sent his son to work wonders on it, to save us from ourselves, and to bring us back into a relationship with God himself.

To me, that seems a crazy amount of love. And that he chose to send Jesus as a little, helpless baby seems so peculiar, when we’re talking about a God who could have waited and sent Jesus now, in the age of mass communication as an all-singing, all-dancing global superstar….

But Christmas is all about love, isn’t it? The love between a family, the love of parents for children, the love of a particular person. The memory of loves past and the hope of loves future. We live in a world where love has been hand-tied, bound up with its lower cousins of lust and liking, when love as an emotion is so raw, so powerful, so great…. it is good at Christmas to stop and hold love, simple, powerful love, close to us.

I think John Betjeman’s poem, Christmas, is a wonderful read at this time of year.

Christmas by John Betjeman
The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green.

The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say
‘The church looks nice’ on Christmas Day.

Provincial Public Houses blaze,
Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze,
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says ‘Merry Christmas to you all’.

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children’s hearts are glad.
And Christmas-morning bells say ‘Come!’
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me ?

And is it true ? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare –
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.

I will be absent from my desk for most of the next two weeks: no blogposts, very little social media. It’s time for me to reconnect with the people closest to me. May I wish all my readers and followers a fantastic and peaceful Christmas, and a prosperous New Year.

All is Calm All is Bright 24 words of Christmas Square

I have a massive favour to ask….

I don’t monetise my blog. I don’t run adverts, take sponsorship for writing posts or use affiliate links. I want everything I do on this blog and in my hygge life outside to be truthful. If I promote a book it’s because I’ve read it and like it, if I  point out an item it’s because it’s impressed me on its own merits and not because the publicist has talked me into it. It does mean I don’t run giveaways and I’m not chasing followers, but the drawback is that I need to find a way to support myself.

That’s why I write books. My thoughts are that if I ask you to buy a book not only does it support me, and let me keep writing as an independent writer, but you get something back for your bucks. I’ve written several books, some on hygge, some on Christmas. If you like what you read here, or in the Hygge Nook, and you’d like to support a struggling writer, would you please consider buying a book? Ebooks give you the best value, since for 2 or 3 pounds you get the content of the book, but I’d be a pretty poor writer if I didn’t appreciate the beauty of a real book in the hand. If you buy just one book, it all adds up in the end to support me, and I’d be so grateful.

I have three Christmas books,

Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version. It looks at keeping the Christmas season warm and cosy, with ideas for activities and routines to keep Christmas happy.

A (Hygge) Christmas Carol is my look at Dickens’ immortal classic and the many lessons we still learn from it today. It contains the full text of the book as well as hyggely thoughts on the story.

Enjoying a Self Care Christmas is only available in ebook version. It’s about keeping Christmas simple enough and healthy enough to keep you sane in the process.

My other books are hygge related, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way  was my first book, and is available in Paperback and Kindle version. It’s a simple look at ways to feel more hyggely in life and at home even though we’re not Danish and don’t have it in our DNA.

How to Hygge Your Summer, in Paperback and Kindle form, has lots of good ideas for the summer months. I strongly believe that hygge is so much more than throws and warm drinks.

Happier is my fourth book. It’s about how I boost my own happiness levels. It’s full of hints, tips and ideas for you to use and adapt to suit your own situation. It is available in ebook and paperback version from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

If you buy any of the books through the links on this page, I get a couple of extra pence per copy, in Amazon vouchers which go towards buying more books to review for the blog. I’d really love it if you’d support me monetarily, but I quite understand that cash is tight for many people, and I just love having your support via reading and commenting as well.

8 thoughts on “All is Calm, All is Bright: Love

  1. Love your blog and Facebook page Jo, thank you for your efforts, hard work, determination and interesting posts that inspire me. Hope you have time to recharge and enjoy family time over the next few weeks. 😊🎄 x

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  2. Hi Jo, on this Christmas Eve I just wanted to thank you for all the hard work you put into this blog – and the monthly newsletters, it’s much appreciated. I love reading your thoughts and always find so many ideas to think about when planning hygge type activities! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy 2019 and I look forward to my future visits to your blog!

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