T.J. Masters
Passionately Writing Passion

Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Two

The Work of Christmas

The poem When the song of the angels is stilled has long been a favourite of mine for this time of year. It was written by Howard Thurman (1899 – 1981) who was an influential African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. It’s from The Mood of Christmas and Other Celebrations published in 1985.  Looking back on this year, these words have never been more apt, never been so needed.

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.

The verses have been set to music by the American composer Elizabeth Alexander and you can find many recordings of it on YouTube


Twelve Days of Christmas: One

A Very Special Birthday.

No not the one you thought I was going to talk about today! This is a different kind of birthday and one that is very personal to me. As we grow and mature (well some of us like to think that we have) family changes and friends come and go but we all cling to a few constants in our lives. One of mine came into my life sixty years ago today and has been with me ever since. Meet Ted.

I was just 6 months old when this bear was bought for my first Christmas. He was a naked bear originally, coated in a thick pelt of strawberry blond fur – which explains a lot regarding later interests! He also has one of those amazing inserts in his belly which allowed him to produce a really butch growl when he was tipped back or forth. In time the growl faded and the fur was mostly shed. In order to spare his blushes my Mum knitted the jumper and trousers that he wears to this day.

Ted was my comforter through childhood, my buddy and sharer of secrets throughout school and university years. He still sits in our bedroom and although I shudder to think of the things he may have witnessed throughout our 60 years together, he has never rejected me, never let me down. Happy 60th Birthday Ted and merry 60th Christmas.