goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the old man's hat." This is an old nursery rhyme which I expect you all know. It tells us about Christmas but re' minds us that this feast is not always the same for everybody. I expect, like me, that you're looking forward to a jolly good Christmas, warm and cosy with lots,of good food. and presents.
The first Christmas day wasn't like that at all. It was a freezing cold night and the snow was falling. Mary and Joseph had travelled a very long way and they were tired. But there was no house to welcome them. no bright lights, no warm beds or roaring fires. They sheltered for the night in a cave on the hillside with only an ox and an ass to keep them company. And during the night Jesus was born.
Now I know you're going to have a wonderful time this Christmas, but don't forget the people like the "old man" of the rhyme. who will have none of the things that makes the feast such an enjoyable occasion for all of us.
How can we help these people? Well, one idea is by carol singing. Get two or three friends together and rehearse some carols, then go around and sing them outside people's houses. If you want to ring the bell to telt people you're there, then only ring it once, and go away if no one answers. If someone comes to the door, explain that you are collecting money, not for yourselves, but for poor people. Take the money you receive and give it to the parish priest. He will know who needs it most.
MAKE YOUR OWN CRIB
HOW are you getting on with " your Christmas cribs? I made my own one this year and I'm rather pleased with it ! I made it out of brown cartridge paper on One of the line drawings from the children's hook "The Apostles of the Lord", by Catherine and Robb Beebe. It pictures Peter walking across the water to join Our Lord. The book, which shows how the apostles were chosen and how they did the work given them by Christ, is published this month by Bruce of the U.S.A. but will be available in this couotr).
a wire frame, so that it looks like a real cave. Inside I put straw to help the Holy Family to keep warm, and outside I stuck on cotton wool to look like snow. I haven't quite decided what to do about the star of Bethlehem. but I think 1 will make it out of silver paper and hang it on a thread above the crib.
OUR LADY AND CHRISTMAS
NEXT Sunday, the last of Advent, is our final preparation for Christmas. The Gospel is about St John the Baptist who foretold the coming of Jesus. The Offertory reminds us that Our Lady. the mother of Jesus. plays a great part in the feast of ChristIn a S.