Tied with ribbon

“My agent says I’m a PR dream: a Muslim who celebrates Christmas”.

Nadiya Hussain, Great British Bake-Off winner, enjoys a big family celebration for her birthday on the 25th December, writes Tony Turnbull in the Times today, but will also find time for a personal Christmas tradition:

“Every year, I always make things like biscotti, florentines or shortbread as gifts. I’ve got a rule that if I can see your front door from my house, you’ll be getting a little bag of chocolate biscuits, biscotti or shortbread, wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon. It’s not so much about celebrating Christmas as being mindful that some people don’t have family and friends, perhaps, and want nothing more than a friendly chat.”

Jesus of Nazareth and other big hearted, big minded teachers in every nation and age have shown that it’s little “rules” like Nadiya’s that are the building blocks of the uni-verse, the one-world.

“If I can see your front door” … or any neighbour’s, or a whole street of homes, or a town, village, country, continent, globe – or international space station and beyond: if I can see you – there’ll always and everywhere be something to celebrate. Connection, giftedness, humanity, relatedness – “tied with ribbon”.

When a child is born

Returning again to “littleness”. I’m delighted and inspired by the following letter in today’s UK Times

Sir, At our little parish church in our
quiet corner of Cornwall, the carol
service on December 20 will begin
with the first verse of Once in Royal
David’s City, sung by a child. This year
that child is nine years old and a
Hindu. Her entire family will be
present to support her.
Organist and Choirmaster

THE TIMES | Wednesday December 9, 2015

Wise persons long ago offered gifts and worship to a child born into poverty who, by virtue of infancy, was not capable of doctrinal statements or of distinguishing between adherents of one religious tradition or another.

The child grew in wisdom, and it was recorded that as a young adult Jesus of Nazareth spoke words of inclusion, hospitality, grace and encouragement for children, women and men whomsoever and wheresoever they may be.

How utterly heartening that in a “quiet corner of Cornwall” (and doubtless in innumerable other hearts and places all over the world) such great wisdom is still being heeded. People of goodwill everywhere will be joined in spirit, alongside her family, to support this splendid young caroller.