CHRISTMAS PRESENTS have been a subject of discussion with my parents – Robert and Irene Marsh. “What do you want for Christmas?” – the weekend glossy magazine asks of us. And honesty requires that each of us must answer that we WANT for nothing in under-the-Christmas-Tree-terms whilst wanting a world of what Advent might bring to humankind via the still small voice of the heart.
In 1630, we discovered by way of family tree studies recently, inventory was drawn up of the entire worldly goods of our ancestor Reginald – Rennalde – Marsh, a husbandman of Stanwardine, in the parish of Baschurch, in the County of Sallop and the diosses of Lichfield, made at the time of his death so that, by the direction of Master Thomas Davies, Vicar of Ruiton, his widow might benefit from administration of the said goods being granted to her.
Two meassures seadnes sowed with rie (small fields sown); one meassure sowed partes; 3 meassures of oates sowed; one reede heaffer; one potte, one condlestick, one cubbord, table boarde and frame, a bench, a forme, one cheare and stoles; three bedsteedes, one cheste and a paynted clothe over one of the bedes; one featherbede, two bolesters, one coverlett, two winnowsheetes, two payres of sheetes; one Bowke (bucket) , one can, one stonde, one Turnell (a large oval tub used for salting meat or kneading bread), one churne and other smale Trinnen ware, one Mucke and Fofther (fodder), one axe, one spade, one potte, one plow, one payre of Iorns and one harrow; and his wearing apparrell. The whole some £5 5s and 10d
We understand that Reginald and Elienore Marsh were relatively quite well off. All the same it makes it rather difficult for us to suggest that we WANT anything for Christmas, save for that which reflection on an anointed one’s advent is really, deeply, intended to bring for every man, woman and child upon earth. Come Emmanuel. Come God with us, and in us.