The time draws near the birth of Christ:
the moon is hid; the night is still;
the Christmas bells from hill to hill
answer each other in the mist. (In Memoriam – Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
The Taming of the Shrew and Love’s Labours Lost are the only Shakespeare plays which mention Christmas.
The word Wassail is derived from the Anglo-Saxon Wes Hal!, meaning Be Thou Whole (in other words Good Health!)
William the Conqueror was crowned on Christmas Day in 1066.
Sir Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day in 1642.
The earliest printed collection of carols in England was produced in 1521 by Wynken de Worde, William Caxton’s assistant.
Among our oldest carols are: The Coventry Carol, God Rest You Merry Gentlemen, The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In and In Dulce Jubilo (Good Christian Men Rejoice).
King Wenceslas, of the Christmas carol, was a Duke of Bohemia and eventually became patron saint of the Czech Republic.
King George V made the first royal Christmas Day broadcast in 1932. In 1957 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II broadcast her Christmas message live on TV for the first time.
An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the Old Year leaves! (Bill Vaughan)
Other folks’ church magazines, newsletters and weekly sheets have arrived from the following:- Central Methodist Church, Preston; Christ Church, Fulwood; Church Road Methodist Church, St Annes; Christchurch Methodist/URC, Ilkley; Conwy & Prestatyn Methodist Circuit; Fulwood URC; Garstang Methodist Church; Holy Trinity, Skipton & St Augustine’s, Draughton; Isles of Scilly Methodist Circuit; Oakworth Methodist Church; the Parishes of St Mary’s, Redlynch & St Birinus, Morgan’s Vale, Wilts.; Penwortham Methodist Church; St John’s Methodist Church, Llandudno; St Leonard’s, Penwortham; St Thomas’s, Garstang; the United Benefice of Eskdale, Muncaster, Irton & Waberthwaite (W. Cumbria); St Annes Parish Church; Warton St Paul’s; ‘Wiganwire’ (Wigan Methodist Circuit); a copy of the Blackburn Diocese MU News and copies of ‘In Focus’, the community mag. which covers the area of the Fylde immediately to the north west of Preston; ‘Garstang Focus’ a similar product, and the Burneside (near Kendal) Church & Community Newsletter.
We also regularly receive a copy of the magazine from our twinned Evangelisch-methodistische Kirche in Recklinghausen, Germany.
What did I glean from them this time around? One church has named its knitting/crotcheting/craft group ‘Knitterbugs’!! The Toddler Group (on Tuesdays) at another is called Twiglets – and on Thursdays they have Musical Twiglets!