Here is this year’s Christmas message from the Liberal Democrats, presented by Ed Davey, currently joint interim leader of the party:
Happy Christmas! I’ve got three big tasks this Christmas.
First, my daughter’s present. Ellie wrote to Father Christmas with her present wish list.
The good news was Santa collected her letter. And he ate the mince pie!
Although he did leave some tell-tale crumbs.
The bad news is I now have to get Santa to bring three live unicorns.
It’s my own fault – I bought Ellie this snow globe unicorn last year.
But I’m not sure where to start looking for a live unicorn.
So I’m thinking of ringing the Prime Minister. Apparently Mr Johnson does a good line in unicorns.
But my second task is easier. To celebrate my own birthday. I wasn’t born in a stable – my mum had me, at home, at ten past eight Christmas morning 1965.
Apparently my dad cooked the Christmas lunch. And my mum ate seconds.
And afterwards, they all watched the Queen’s Speech – her Majesty’s Christmas message.
It’s been broadcast in the afternoon for a few decades now.
And in case you didn’t know, this year – like last year – it’s on at 3pm.
My third task is the most important however.
It’s to celebrate the real message of Christmas.
As a Christian, for me, it’s all about hope. And joy. And love.
What could possibly represent hope, joy and love better – than a new born baby.
When I held my first child, in the crook of my arm in Kingston Hospital, just minutes after he’d been born, that was the first time I really understood how my own father and mother must have loved me.
So you don’t actually have to believe in Jesus to recognise that for Christians, Christmas has a deep, profound meaning.
It’s why we light candles.
It’s why we remember that even in those dark days – when King Herod was willing to slaughter thousands of new born babies just to hold onto power, and forced the Holy Family to become refugees and asylum seekers – even then, hope, joy and love were possible.
Jesus went on to teach – and to teach ideas and values that still speak powerfully to us today.
Perhaps my favourite is this. “Love Thy Neighbour As Thyself”
So this Christmas – let’s have hope. And joy. And love.
And let’s love all our neighbours. Even those who believe in unicorns.
And thank goodness that William Gladstone was wrong about Christmas.