Tag Archives: christmas

The Sunday before Christmas

It was a Sunday morning – a couple of days before Christmas- and, as usual, I had a half hour Service to conduct in the Infirmary (part of my role as Healthcare Chaplain).

These (poorly attended) times of Worship for patients were held in the day room in Ward 18; a ward for elderly patients, but open to all who were hospitalised throughout the building.

It wasn’t a cheerful time that year. Helen had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, had undergone a double mastectomy, and was being treated with sessions of chemotherapy.

I was feeling less than festive, and when I opened the door to the day room, it hadn’t been prepared for the Service. Chairs were randomly placed in the room, an empty coffee cup lay on the table where the Bible was usually placed.

Being just before Christmas, as many as possible able patients had been discharged; fewer nursing staff were on duty, and were struggling to cope. And our pianist had phoned in sick with flu.

Depressing and disheartening – yep.

After ten minutes of waiting, not a single patient had turned up.

I was just about to leave, when there was a knock on the door, and this wee ordinary looking wummin came in.

“I hope I’m not too late – I was told that it was a 10.30 Service, but it’s 10.00 isn’t it? I’m so sorry. Do you want me to go back to my ward?”

“No, no! Please stay. It’s only going to be thee and me, I’m afraid. And the pianist can’t make it today. We’ll have a bash at a couple of carols, but it’ll have to be unaccompanied- oh, and I can’t hold a tune. But, listen, let me read the Christmas Scripture first, then we’ll have a wee prayer”

“OK – that sounds good.”

So we did that. Then I asked her to tell me about herself, and we had a cosy chat.

“Thank you so much”, she said, getting up to leave.

“Do you want to try ‘Away in a Manger’ before you go?”

“Oh, please”, she replied. Then added “I can play the piano a wee bit”

“Oh, that’s great; there’s a music edition of CH3 (third edition of the C of S hymn book) in this cupboard”

So she started to play this old out of tune joanna – magnificently, delicately, sensitively, with the touch of a professional……. which, it turned out, she had been, having studied music at Drama and Music College many years before.

Hymn followed hymn. Music drifted down the ward; nurses joined us – some for a few minutes only because of busyness.

We stayed for an hour! All the traditional favourites. Played beautifully.

And that old untidy Day Room was transformed into what our Celtic forebears call “a thin place”

It was a magical, mystical, merry time of joy and celebration.

Oh, although I can’t recall the lady’s name………….

……….I found out later that she was Jewish!!!!!!!!!!!

“God works in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform”

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We wish you a Merry……….

Office Christmas Party

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 4th November 2006
RE: Christmas Party

I’m happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23rd, starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We’ll have a small band playing traditional carols…please feel free to sing along. And don’t be surprised if the MD shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1.00p.m.. Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over £10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone’s pockets. This gathering is only for employees! The MD will make a special announcement at the Party.Merry Christmas to you and your Family. Pauline—————————————————————–

 

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 5th November 2006
RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday’s memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognise that Chanukah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we’re calling it our ‘Holiday Party’. The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians. There will be no Christmas tree or Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment. Happy now? Happy Holidays to you and your family,Pauline.—————————————————————–

 

FROM; Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 6th November 2006
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table…you didn’t sign your name. I’m happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, “AA Only”, you wouldn’t be anonymous anymore!!!! How am I supposed to handle this? Somebody? Forget about the gift exchange, no gift exchange allowed now since the Union Officials feel that £10.00 is too much money and Management believe £10.00 is a little cheap. NO GIFT EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED. Pauline.——————

 

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 7th November 2006
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20th begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees’ beliefs, perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party or else package everything up for you to take home in alittle foil doggy bag. Will that work?Meanwhile, I’ve arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the toilets, Gays are allowed to sit with each other, Lesbians do not have to sit with gay men, each will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower arrangements for the gay men’s table too. To the person asking permission to cross dress – no cross dressing allowed. We will have booster seats for short people. Low fat food will be available for those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food: we suggest those people with high blood pressure taste the food first.. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for Diabetics; the restaurant cannot supply “No Sugar” desserts. Sorry! Did I miss anything?!?!?!?!?!Pauline.—————————————————————–

 

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All F****** Employees
DATE: 8 November 2006
RE: The F******** Holiday Party.

Vegetarian pricks. I’ve had it with you people!!! We’re going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the “grill of death”, as you so quaintly put it, you’ll get your f****** salad bar, including organic tomatoes, but you know tomatoes have feelings too, they scream when you slice them. I’ve heard them scream. I’m hearing them scream right NOW!! I hope you all have a rotten holiday, drink, drive and die.The Bitch from HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!———————————————

 

FROM: John Bishop – Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: 9th November 2006
RE: Pauline Lewis and Holiday Party

I’m sure I speak for all of us in wishing Pauline Lewis a speedy recovery, and I’ll continue to forward your cards to her. In the meantime, the Management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and instead, give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd December off with full pay.

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April 16, 2017 · 19:19

Dyslexic Father Christmas?

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November 19, 2016 · 20:11

BC/AD

BC–AD.  U.A. Fanthorpe
This was the moment when Before
Turned into After, and the future’s
Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.
This was the moment when nothing
Happened. Only dull peace
Sprawled boringly over the earth.
This was the moment when even energetic Romans
Could find nothing better to do
Than counting heads in remote provinces.
And this was the moment
When a few farm workers and three
Members of an obscure Persian sect
Walked haphazard by starlight straight
Into the kingdom of heaven.

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“Do you know ‘Mama Mia’ by Abba?”

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December 7, 2015 · 13:59

Santa en route to Gretna Green Blacksmith’s Shop

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A must have for Christmas (?!!!)

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November 29, 2015 · 23:51

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

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November 11, 2015 · 02:22

subversive Christmas ad

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