Like all our birthdays it comes round once a year... We celebrate or commiserate that we are another year older.
And so it is at Christmas, a very special birthday - of Jesus, the Christ - Jesus given to us as a gift from the eternal God.
I'm not at all enthusiastic about the hype of Christmas, all the money that is spent, the debt that people run up. All the food that we must buy and eat. All this, to me, eclipses the real and most significant reason why we have and celebrate Christmas.
Birthdays often are family times. We gather together and give gifts. We socialise and eat together
This year I had two things to celebrate...
First - The birth of Jesus, born in the year five. 2010 years ago!
Each of the gospels tells the story of His birth... The angel told Joseph "Mary will give birth to a son who has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. You are to give him the name Jesus"
This message had been foretold word for word by the prophet Isaiah about the year 745BC. "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel - God with us"
As I am a believer in God and his son Jesus, this is my first celebration - Jesus birthday, God's gift to me.
My second celebration and the reason I am back in Christchurch for a week - is my father. I've already told you a lot about him. He is well and enjoying life in his own way.
So I was pleased to be able to celebrate this Christmas time with him.
The gift of Jesus is symbolised in the gifts we give each other, so I packed up a little 'santa sack' with favourite things and we had morning coffee together on Christmas morning.
He's very engrossed.
In the afternoon we visited friends for yummy Christmas deserts... It was a special day