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I would like to wish everyone a joyful and loving Christmas holiday.  Wherever you are. One of my favourite poems is The Oxen by Thomas Hardy, so full of wistfulness and hope.

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock,
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek and mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come see the oxen kneel,

In lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

Thank you Thomas Hardy wherever you are now.

My offering for this time of year is:

Celebrate God’s gift of joy
above the transient broken toy,
dedicate these festive days
to loving kindness in countless ways.

I wish you all hope and peace for 2016

very best wishes – Denny Bradbury

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