Happy Christmas – 25 December 2012

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Andrew Burdett wishes all readers a very happy Christmas.

IT'S A BOY: The Christmas Crib scene at St Luke's Church, Maidenhead, last year. (IMG_0086)

Jesus was born into a troubled world – one where corrupt governments ignored the needs of their populations; one where hatred was rife among men; and one where so much was wrong on God’s once "perfect" planet.

2,000 years on and the picture, sadly, is much the same. Many around the world are still campaigning for greater freedoms; people are still bitter to one another; and Earth’s destruction continues at an alarming rate.

People are suffering on the doorsteps of those who could – and ought to – help them. Too often in today’s world, people concern themselves only with their own rights, rather than the responsibilities that they have for others.

GIFTS UNDER THE TREE: It's not presents that the majority of people want most of all... it's the presence of their loved ones. (IMG_0389)

Later today, my family (like so many others in this tremendous, community-centric town) will be helping transport elderly people, first to church and then to a local OAPs’ Christmas party. It takes only a small amount of our time, but the joy that these lonely, otherwise immobile, folk will gain – from albeit brief hours of interaction with others on Christmas Day – will be the vicarious reward for our efforts.

There is so much else we could do. There are countless admirable people who will today forsake their Christmas to benefit somebody else’s. Carers, charity workers, nurses.

WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS: Not everyone will be lucky enough to enjoy a large Christmas dinner today. (IMG_0577)

Without the power-station engineers, there wouldn’t be hot ovens for the rest of us to cook dinner in. And without the television controllers, the whole family wouldn’t be able to huddle round ‘the box’ at 3:00pm for the Queen’s Christmas Message (to be broadcast in 3D for the first time).

DELIVERING LINES TO CAMERA: The Queen's Christmas broadcast is expected to praise the 'splendid summer of sport' and our TeamGB Olympic and ParalympicsGB Paralympic athletes. LOOKING SLICK: Images of the Queen reviewing her Christmas message, wearing 3D spectacles, have attracted attention on social media.

The emergency services will be especially alert this year, as the Environment Agency warns of yet more flooding. Even in our modern, Western country, hundreds have been displaced by the weather and will consequently be spending Christmas in a very different way to that that they’d hoped.

DINNER WITH THE LADS: David Cameron enjoying Christmas dinner with British troops earlier this week. (SNN21042GA---_1641600a) 2.5 tonnes of turkey has been flown in to Afghanistan, so that – though still serving – the 9,000 UK  servicemen and women may enjoy a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Prime Minister David Cameron announced this week that nearly 4,000 of our troops will be home by this time next year. Until then, though, the service personnel must continue to work and live with their ‘second families’, thinking of their loved ones back home who miss them especially at this time.

So remember them all on this special dawn, and may you and your loved ones enjoy a very happy Christmas – wheresoever you are – this year.

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a 21-year-old from Maidenhead in Berkshire. He is now two-thirds of the way through his Journalism Studies degree at the University of Sheffield. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, going to the theatre, and writing about himself in the third-person.