If one considers that the Church has a history of over 2,000 years, today’s feast day is a relatively recent one: it was instituted by Pope Pius IX only in 1854 and established, once and for all, that the mother of Jesus was conceived without sin.
Whatever one’s religion is, this date gets the ‘metronome’ of expectancy ticking away, like a mother-to-be carrying her baby (after all, that is what the young Mary was). Today some of us will start putting up our trees, some will listen to an old “White Christmas” vinyl record, while others will mount a nativity scene, with figurines of shepherds and sheep. The fact is that from today until 25th December, what could be more apt than Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s famous aphorism that awaiting pleasure is itself pleasure?
We wish you an pleasurable start to the day: enjoy a moment of leisure as you have your breakfast, relish the unmistakable aroma of your coffee or tea as it wafts through the air… that’s the only way to ensure that the spirit of Christmas never grows cold.