PCC Blog 36 – A Christmas Message

Just over a year ago I was talking to a police officer who was on duty in the Doncaster District during the floods. He had been standing at the end of a flooded road for sometime, directing traffic away. It was getting dark and cold – and he had forgotten his gloves. I had just come from homes that had been made uninhabitable by foul-smelling water. There was little reason to be cheerful. So I said, ‘We must look forward to something better next year.’

Who could have imagined the arrival of the coronavirus and the harm and damage it has done.

People have been made very sick. Hospitals have been overwhelmed. Some have died. The emergency services have been stretched. And we are all left a little anxious. The one ray of light in this darkness is the possibility of a vaccine for all during the course of next year.

As Christmas approaches, then, we are left suspended between hope and fear.

However, although we might not be able to sing Christmas carols in churches or pubs this year – no ‘Chiming Christmas Bells’ – we should not lose sight of the Christmas message which is shared by people of every faith and none – the importance for our lives of love within families and between neighbours.

If anything, we have seen this strengthened during the weeks of the pandemic. We have learnt to value again the things that really matter to us which the Christmas story epitomises.

And as we celebrate Christmas in a more subdued way, perhaps we can also remember for a moment those who will be working over this period to keep us safe – not only the men and women in the NHS, but also those working in the emergency services – Yorkshire Ambulance, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and South Yorkshire Police.

It would be a wonderful Christmas if none of those in these services had to be called out over the festive season. If, for instance, none of them had to attend a road traffic collision because someone decided to have a drink and get into a car and drive home, and none of us stopped them.

So while this won’t be a normal Christmas, lets make it a happy one nevertheless – for ourselves, our families and friends – and also for those who will be working as well. This year more than ever we need a bit of cheer.

So that’s alright then …

One of my granddaughters, just aged nine, cheered me up. She said she thought her presents would get through alright at Christmas because her parents had assured her that ‘Santa is in our bubble’.

I wish you a happy and blessed Christmas.