When icicles hang by the wall,

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,

And Tom bears logs into the hall,

And milk comes frozen home in pail;

When blood is nipped, and ways be foul,

Then nightly sings the staring owl. ‘Tu-who;

Tu-whit, tu-who’ - A merry note,

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,

And coughing drowns the parson’s saw.

And birds sit brooding in the snow,

And Marian’s nose looks red and raw,

When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,

Then nightly sings the staring owl. ‘Tu-who;

Tu-whit, tu-who’ - A merry note,

While greasy Joan doth keep the pot.

William Shakespeare

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Help me, Lord Jesus,

As Christmas draws near

To welcome you into the world of my life

May your light shine in me

And shine out of me to warm others.

May your saving love encircle me

In all the joys and troubles I experience

May I offer, with joy and praise,

The fruits of my life to you.

And may I never forget to be thankful

For all that you have done for me. Amen.

Christine Odell

* * * * * * * * * * * *


There’s a faithful few who work unseen

And unobtrusively give their best.

Who spend their lives perfecting little things,

Which often goes unnoticed by the rest.

There are hands that dust the altar rails

That change the flowers and keep the linen fair.

They sweep the aisle with cheerful reverence

And polish silver with a murmured prayer.

These are the quiet ones who freely give

Their time and thought and love with glad accord;

Who softly tread the byways of resolve,

And share the peace of God for their reward.

Jean B. Howes

* * * * * * * * * * * *


I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.

I am your next chance at the art of living.

I am your opportunity to practise

What you have learned about life

During the last twelve months.

All that you sought

And didn’t find is hidden in me,

Waiting for you to search it out

With more determination.

All the good that you tried for

And didn’t achieve is mine to grant

When you have fewer conflicting desires.

All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do,

All that you hoped but did not will,

All the faith that you claimed but did not have –

These slumber lightly,

Waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose.

I am your opportunity to make all things new.

I am the New Year!

Author unknown

* * * * * * * * * * * *


Christèmas hath made an end, Well-a-day! well-a-day!

Which was my dearest friend, More is the pity!

For with an heavy heart must I from thee depart

To follow plow and cart all the year after

Christèmas hath made an End, Well-a-day! well-a-day!

Which was my dearest friend, More is the pity!

Lent is fast coming on, Well-a-day! well-a-day!

That loves not anyone, More is the pity!

For I doubt both my cheeks will look thin from eating leeks;

Wise is he then that seeks for a friend in a comer.

All of our good cheer is gone, Well-a-day! well-a-day!

And turned to a bone, More is the pity!

In my good master’s house I shall eat no more souse*

Then give me one carouse, Gentle kind butler!

It grieves me to the heart, Well-a-day’ well-a-day’

From my friend to depart, More is the pity!

Christèmas, I fear ’tis thee That thus forsaketh me:

But for one more hour, I see, Will I yet be merry.


Also known as ‘The Yorkshire Gooding Carol’

this was sung by children door-to-door

bearing a tree on Christmas morning.

* A food that has been pickled.


* * * * * * * * * * * *


When in doubt, pause.

When angry, pause.

When tired, pause.

When stressed, pause.

When happy, pause.

And when you pause,