Christmas Message

There is a saying that “a week is a long time in politics”. You can only imagine how long a year feels like in opposition!

But a week can also make a big difference in everybody’s life, if we want it to.

Christmas week is one such important week. It seems that most of the people I see and meet are genuinely happier and more positive than they might otherwise be.

This week I went door knocking in a South Australian neighbourhood comprised largely of public housing. I spoke with many people who were living with a disability, the unemployed, single mums, and dads who haven’t seen their children for months or years.

You’d think that the last person they wanted to see in Christmas week was a politician (and that’s probably true!) but the warmth and spirit of Christmas was evident everywhere I went.

Sometimes there were Christmas displays on doors or in gardens; otherwise it was in a cheerful greeting or a ‘Merry Christmas’ after a brief chat.

It was wonderful evidence that Christmas is an important occasion for our nation, one that needs to be protected and preserved lest it disappear in a pique of political correctness.

But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could actually extend the joy of Christmas (and all that it represents) past the Christmas week?

On Facebook, I joined a group called Lifestyle Challenge: Remembering the Poor this Christmas that asks us all to consider how we can help those less fortunate on Christmas Day.

It’s a small thing but perhaps by thinking about the spirit of Christmas for one week, and the less fortunate for one day, next year we can do even better.

May I wish you all the peace and love and joy that Christmas represents and best wishes for 2009.

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