Create a “colander Christmas” so the love we share can escape, says the Right Rev Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph:

“I remember my mother coming home in my childhood with a new-fangled invention – airtight plastic containers to use in the kitchen. I remember this now in the Christmas season because all the adverts seem to portray a Christmas that is a little bit too tidy, too perfect, too airtight. The family are all safely gathered in, the presents are sorted, and all is well. It’s a Tupperware Christmas.

Christmas wasn’t tidy – a pregnant unmarried teenager, no place to stay, rural folk seeing visions, and strangers seeking attention from the East. In a final twist, a massacre of children at home sends a family fleeing as refugees to Egypt.

Nor does God want our Christmases to be tidy. Sure, the message of the angels is “Peace on earth, goodwill to all people”, but the agents that God calls to take on this job today aren’t the “angels from the realms of glory” – it’s us. We are the ones who can bring the peace and goodwill – and not just to those near and dear to us. God asks us to have a mind for the homeless, those without shelter, the poor, the outsider, the lonely.

By Christmas morning, there’s a danger that we’ll draw up the drawbridge, and settle down to an airtight Christmas. But I want a colander Christmas, one which is full of holes, where the love we share can escape the confines of our comfortable homes to spread cheer to those so easily left outside. How can we open the paths of love to those who need it most this Christmas?