Radio Extras
Season's Greetings
The readings from our Season's Greetings and Midwinter Sun shows touched many listeners.  Here they are in full with our very best wishes for 2010:


How soon it starts,
The endless moan:
‘Just ten more weeks,
How time has flown!
The shopping’s such
An awful bore;
Things cost so much –
(And more, and more) –
I wonder if this colour suits her
- Let’s give the children a computer!’
Unchanging times remain, it’s true:
The card that means
‘I think of you’
Is there a hopeful little sock
Hung by the fire, beneath the clock:
Name stuck on a with a safety pin,
For Santa’s bounty to go in;
An apple and an orange too,
A coin pushed down into the toe,
And loving parcels set below
For Christmas morn?
The perfect way to celebrate
That long ago a child was born.

by Jay
Title: Christmas
Source: New Shetlander, 1985

Open the Door

Open the door for the auld year,
It is the pairtin-time
Open the door for the new year
And lat the bairn win hame.

Bundle your winter’d joy and grief
On the back o’ the year that’s dune:
Open your hert for the new life
And lat the bairn come in.

by William Soutar
Title: Open the Door
Source: The Poems of William Souter, Scottish Academic Press, 1988

Happy, Happy Christmas

Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused – in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened – by the recurrence of Christmas. There are people who will tell you that Christmas is not to them what it used to be; that each succeeding Christmas has found some cherished hope, or happy prospect, of the year before, dimmed or passed away; that the present only serves to remind them of reduced circumstances and straitened incomes – of the feasts they once bestowed on hollow friends, and of the cold looks that meet them now, in adversity and misfortune. Never heed such dismal reminiscences. There are few men who have lived long enough in the world, who cannot call up such thoughts any day in the year. Then do not select the merriest of the three hundred and sixty-five for your doleful recollections, but draw your chair nearer the blazing fire – fill the glass and send round the song – and if your room be smaller than it was a dozen years ago, or if your glass be filled with reeking punch, instead of sparkling wine, put a good face on the matter, and empty it off-hand, and fill another and troll off the old ditty you used to sing, and thank God it’s no worse….

From Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens, 1812 – 1870

Home for Christmas

This is meeting time again. Home is the magnet. The winter land roars and hums with the eager speed of return journeys. The dark is noisy and bright with late-night arrivals – doors thrown open, running shadows on snow, open arms, kisses, voices and laughter, laughter at everything and nothing. Inarticulate, giddying and confused are those original minutes of being back again. The very familiarity of everything acts like shock. Contentment has to be drawn in slowly, steadyingly, in deep breaths – there is so much of it. We rely on home not to change, and it does not, wherefore we give thanks. Again Christmas: abiding point of return. Set apart by its mystery, mood and magic, the season seems in a way to stand outside time. All that is dear, that is lasting, renews its hold on us: we are home again….

From Home for Christmas by Elizabeth Bowen, 1899 - 1973

Winter Light

To come through a low blue door
Under the high grey wall
Of a forgotten garden
Into a place in winter
Roofed by grey sky
The scattered holly berries
Of a robin’s song.

Nothing is alive yet
All is deep and dark
Wintered and fastened
Shut into the earth
A book unopened
The whole story of the year
Underneath my feet.

A door in the low sky opens
Sunlight struggles to silver the ground
And fades
Soft things of rain
Whisper and nod and sing
This is enough
This is all I ask.

Winter Kenneth Steven from Sanctuary ~ Poems of Celtic Spirituality (Saint Andrew Press)

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