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Tim Farron's Christmas Message

December 24, 2015 11:44 AM
By Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

From my family, to yours, can I wish you and all those you love a happy and peaceful Christmas.

I love Christmas, I get to take a few days off and spend some proper time with my family. If all goes to plan, the next few days will involve eating, drinking, watching films, very long walks and a few decent runs. I may even get down to watch Blackburn Rovers too.

Christmas is a time of love, reflection but also hope. The world we live in today is a world in need of hope.

This year saw the biggest refugee crisis to hit Europe since the war. The time I spent meeting refugees in the camps and on the beaches in Calais and Lesbos has affected me deeply.

Last week I joined homeless men and women from the streets of London as they ate their Christmas dinner at a Salvation Army centre.

And in my own community we stand alongside families who lost their homes to the floods and now face an uncertain Christmas.

There are many people with no place to call home for whom this Christmas will be filled with fear and despair, rather than hope. Hope is called the anchor of the soul, because it gives stability to life.

The Christmas story, to me, is about a God who brings hope to a dark world. About a God who became utterly human. Indeed who became a refugee child.

There will be many people of all faiths and none this Christmas who will be giving up their time to help others, whether the homeless or refugees.

They are demonstrating practically what it means to be people of hope. Many more invest their lives in standing up against injustice wherever it may be found, and campaign for change through social and political action.

This Christmas, I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who is working to transform the lives of those with no safe place to call home.

But no matter what our faith, or values or beliefs are, my hope this Christmas is that we are all inspired to look outwards and upwards, as we seek to make our country a compassionate, liberal and welcoming one.

Our values of social justice, love and community are shared by millions. This Christmas we have so much to be thankful for, and so much to look forward to.

Good will to all mankind for us means more than just feeling a sense of festive warmth towards others - it means rolling up our sleeves to make lives better in practice. To consider others needs and to meet them, to put others before ourselves. To behave as those who have hope and who have love.

I wish you a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.