Christmas can be stressful for a lot of people, especially for parents on a tight budget who want to make it a special time for their children. Some parents can easily get into debt because of it. For the growing homeless population, it is extremely difficult, because it is not just adults who are homeless and hungry, it is children too. No food, no toys and no joy.
There is a particular emphasis on considering it unacceptable to be hungry, lonely or homeless on Christmas Day. The social comparison that looks upon the rest of the year in a less important light than Christmas, must be quaintly strange for those who are suffering. Being hungry and homeless in January is the same as being hungry and homeless in December.
As the years travel on, there seems to be more and more people who have less and less, while the affluent have more than an abundance of wealth. A few years ago, I read an article which was written by a very rich man. He said he did not have to do anything to earn more money, because just by having a lot of money, he gained interest every day. He was questioning the morality of his own wealth while other people were going hungry. He said “They will be coming after us with the pitchforks soon, and quite rightly so.”
It is a metaphor that casts up an image of times gone by, yet we live in a time where the balance between those who have excess and those who struggle to survive becomes even greater. In the UK, the Conservative Party has always been about making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Their austerity programs are not a necessary or economic choice, they are purely political.
A lot of people whose affluent lives are maintained by the contributions of others, are Christians, but only in name, not by deed.
For a lot of people, Christianity is a persona, not a faith. They delude themselves that they are righteous and the unfortunate and those who have bad fortune thrust upon them, only have themselves to blame.
The people that always shine through at Christmas are the caregivers, healthcare workers, volunteers and charity workers. More so now than ever.