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Happy Christmas to readers of Canonfodder and thank you for your comments, “likes” and encouragement and to those who have shared the blogs.

As a retired vicar I miss the Christmas Day services when reunited families with visiting grandparents and children home from college would show off, with some embarrassment new scarves, socks and cuddly animals.

One of my favourite traditional Christmas legends is that of the poinsettia brought back from Southern Mexico by Joel Poinsett, the first US ambassador to that country in the nineteenth century. Poor Pepita is walking with her cousin Pedro to the Christmas Eve service with no gift to present at the crib. Picking some roadside flowers she makes a little bouquet and with some embarrassment lays them before the nativity scene in the village church. “The most humble of gifts given in love are acceptable” Pedro had said and suddenly the weeds are transformed into blooms of brilliant red.

The message is simple and needs no explanation; may love transform your Christmas.