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So, a bit like the queen, though a few days early, I’m doing my Christmas message.

A few weeks ago the local church had its Christmas Fete.  For me November is a little early, but it was right at the end and with Christmas actually falling on a weekend this year I can understand that there is a little bit of ‘creep’ when it comes to the timing of weekend events.  I don’t attend the church, but I always go along.  Buy some raffle tickets and see if there is anything of interest in the Christmas decorations, books, CDs etc.  I normally come away with something.

This year there wasn’t much on offer.  To be fair I had been distracted by the rugby international on television so was there a little late.  Anyway, I did the usual of buying some raffle tickets and walking around a couple of times.  Not wanting to leave empty handed I decided to buy a copy of smaller jigsaw puzzles that I could do in some downtime over the holiday period.  They were nice pictures so I thought a final version would be nice.  However all was not as it would seem.

puzzle

Unfortunately as you can see from the note inside I had fallen foul of one of the second-hand jigsaw problems.  Obviously this was disappointing as the main reason for getting it had been the picture on the front.  However it did leave me to some deeper thoughts and how the concept of the puzzle not matching the picture was very much true in real life, and can be especially so at Christmas time.

We get bombarded at Christmas with lots of images of what the festive season should be like.  Cards, adverts, TV shows, magazines and newspaper articles all present us with ideas of what Christmas should be and should mean.  Most of us will see the image of the family sitting round the table with everyone enjoying themselves without a care in the world.

In reality, this is not the case and in many ways we can feel that we are struggling to equate the picture we are presented with to what is actually happening.  For the record I believe that this is true for everyday life and not just Christmas, but Christmas can focus this more.

Life continues to throw curveballs, seemingly one after another at times without a break, and while some are easier to hit away, others are less so.  In many of the idealistic images we get of life curveballs don’t seem to appear.  It can present a feeling that we are getting things wrong and the fault must therefore lay somewhere at home.  This is of course totally wrong and it is the imagery that we get that is at fault.  We need to remember this to avoid getting into the wrong mind-set about Christmas not going perfectly.

More often than not the puzzle of life does not meet the picture.

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