With Christmas approaching, I asked my wife what her favourite Christmas Carol was and she replied “Good King Wenceslas”. I was curious to know the story behind the carol.

It tells of a Bohemian King who braves the winter weather to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of St. Stephen (December 26, the second day of Christmas).

Interestingly, as the journey continues his page is about to give up in the harsh cold weather but he decides to continue by following the King’s footprints in the deep snow.

Such stories remind us of our humanity the strength within us to endure and at the same time sacrifice to help others.

So at this festive time, it is wise to remember the message in this story and that “good will to all men” is as relevant to Christmas as the traditional customs we have like Santa Claus, Christmas trees and the opening and sharing of presents.

Often donations to charity and food banks occur during this time and if you can in some way share the festive spirit with someone less well off than yourself, then the legacy and memory of Good King Wenceslas will remain in our minds as we sing this merry Carol.

I should like to wish you a Merry Christmas and I hope for you all a happy and healthy New Year.