Susie Dent, she of dictionary corner Countdown fame, has posted a word on Twitter which she calls one of her old favourites. It is a brilliant verb: 'to scurryfunge'. She defines it as 'to rush about and manically try to tidy up before visitors arrive.'
Now, I have no idea whether this might be a word of her own invention, but I love it! I have done a great deal of that in my life, especially lately.
Also on Twitter there has been quite a lot of stress from people who are preparing for Christmas. Anxiety levels are peaking, people can't sleep because they are concerned something will go wrong over the festivities. They are anxious about their decorations, their baking, having visitors, getting the shopping done in time.
This has made me slow myself down and really focus on what it is all about. Of course, I know what it's about, but have I truly grasped the enormity of it?
We are celebrating the beginning of the most amazing event in history which has changed lives and the world forever: God being born in the same messy way we have been, but not in their home, and with no smart cot to lie in. God reaching out to touch us, to be us, to save us.
Ren Smith, in her poem 'We knew you were coming', expresses what I am trying to say far better than I can:
We knew you were coming Baby
As every year you do,
Swept in on a cloud of glitter
And a whole lot of bally-hoo.
We knew you were there in the manger
Beneath the pile of toys.
That stereotypical rubbish
We give to our girls and boys.
But we were blinded Baby
To the truth of your wonderful name
Which we had reduced to a fable
Of a childhood's storybook fame.
We say we celebrate Christmas
But we fail to remember why
Or hear the voice of the Father
On your first breath-taking cry.
So strike us with fear like the shepherds
And awe like the three wise men.
Grant us a vision of wonder,
Allow us to start again.
To begin a new life at the manger,
Travel with you all the way
From the crib to the cross,
From the cross to the grave
And to rise on that glorious day.
So have a wonderful happy, thoughtful Christmas. May God's peace be with you.
Annie Try is the pen-name of Angela Hobday, Chair of ACW.
She is the author of The Dr Mike Lewis Stories: Trying to Fly and Out of Silence.
Many apologies for the lateness of this blog. Our regular contributor has been unable to post today. Thank you to Ren Smith for the use of her poem.