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In the Church calendar, Advent is the time before Christmas, and advent calendars are still popular with children in many homes, more, perhaps, it has to be admitted, for the excitement they generate about the countdown to Christmas than for their religious significance. But even if we don’t go to chapel or church on a regular basis, at this time of year we still enjoy singing carols and seeing the children acting in Nativity Plays.
As an MP, I often get asked to join in community events on these dark, cold nights, many of them made more worthwhile because they are for a good cause. One such occasion was the delightful concert last week by Cor Curiad at Ty Gwyn Church with proceeds going to their excellent Lighthouse Project, which provides help and support for people with dementia. I enjoy these occasions. They are times when the spirit of community and of coming together to share our happiness becomes a reality.
In some families Christmas will be a sad time. When a loved one has died during the year, the first Christmas without that person is a very difficult time. However, that too can serve to remind us that coming together as a community means sharing our common humanity. Sharing what it means to be human will necessarily involve grief and sadness as well as joy and happiness. No-one can lessen the pain of personal grief, but as an MP, I certainly try to make sure that it is not exacerbated by things that can be put right.