A picture tells a thousand words.
It is never easy being away from loved ones, especially when unexpected and for reasons that seem unfair. It makes you think how many thousands and probably millions of families will not be together around the world this Christmas. Some possibly never reunited again for reasons out of their control.
One of my colleagues took an assembly yesterday and reminisced about his outlook on Christmas as a young man (many) years ago. It was a touching story that was based around the fact his father for 12 years always invited an elderly, widowed neighbour around for Christmas Day. He and his brother resented this as they always missed out on watching the Christmas movie they had looked forward to for weeks since scanning through the Radio Times delivered at the start of December – the example given on this occasion being the Star Wars movie: The Empire Strikes Back. When this elderly lady died their father was left a letter in her will acknowledging the kindness and importance of that one day of each year to her. For 12 years – the thing she had most looked forward to was being with his wife and children and spending time with them on Christmas Day. My colleague concluded his assembly by telling our Year 7, 8 and 9 students that that message had totally changed his outlook on Christmas and what a real gift should be all about at this time of the year.