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A Remaining Christmas

As Christmas approaches, I try to read an essay that captures some important aspect of the great feast. One stand-out essay, by English writer Hilaire Belloc, is "A Remaining Christmas". Belloc, a brilliant author, a feisty apologist, Member of Parliament, and good friend of G.K. Chesterton, bought a house in 1907 called "Kings Land", in Shipley, Sussex, for which he paid £1000. It was an old English house on five acres, which also had a working windmill. He remained there the rest of his life. His essay is about home and belonging to a specific place and community; as such, it anticipates themes in the writing of Wendell Berry. It is also about local Christmas customs which memorialize and celebrate the permanence of eternal things. His reflection has an indelible sacramental quality. It also has a literary quality to be savoured. Like much of Belloc and Chesterton's writing, it speaks something timeless to our times. A Remaining Christmas By Hilaire Bel