Happy Christmas 2020, and here’s to 2021

What do you write for Christmas 2020 – it’s been a strange year hasn’t it … all those plans I (and many others) blogged about in expectation of 2020, COVID19 has knocked many people off their feet … and then cancer truly came back in summer 2020 to knock me further off my feet!

I don’t know how many people have had conversations like this (we haven’t thankfully):

When I was in New Zealand, Lesley introduced me to an amazing multi-layered Pentatonix track, and I’m also enjoying their Christmas track:

And I quite enjoyed skipping my way through this COVID-Nativity version (I think a church youth group, and a few laughs about the UK COVID situation, alongside a pretty ‘true to the Bible’ story):

Oh, and don’t forget, that at 5.30pm Sunday 20th December, you can join Carols On the Doorstep!

Added later – this from Jimmy Fallon:

I don’t like to wish time away, especially now, but I wish you all a pleasurable Christmas, and a much better 2021 (vaccine’s a-coming!).. as a historian, I’m not big on random dates meaning huge changes (e.g. years, decades, etc), but, I guess it is a time to reflect back AND look forward:

Cancer Updates

If you’re interested in the cancer updates, they can all be found on my blog.


Christmas ‘featured image’: Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash; New Year: Photo by Moritz Knöringer on Unsplash


Happy Christmas 2017, and Happy New Year 2018

As you may know, this Christmas is going to be a very odd one for me. I have my second chemotherapy on 22nd December, which means I’ll spend Christmas either high on steroids, or feeling nauseas once they’ve worn off. I’ve got some offers of places to go in Manchester if I feel up to it, so we’ll see! At the end of the day, hopefully this is ‘just one year’ of treatment so …

Feeling very thankful for Stepping Hill Hospital for my surgery, and The Christie for the chemotherapy support, and the many friends and family who have rallied around with cards, useful presents, fun presents, and most of all – company, lifts and meals, as I told Breast Cancer Care recently! Also to work for allowing me to work at home as and when I feel well enough…

Meantime, as I’ve been missing all the Christmas services, let’s enjoy some traditional Christmas carols:

and I quite enjoy this retelling of the Christmas story:

Meantime, if the next chemo goes anything like this one, I should be able to make it to the Radcliffe’s for New Year’s Eve – just need to make sure I’ve had plenty of sleep during that day! And yes, I can drink 48 hours after chemo, but haven’t really fancied it …

To all: Here’s to 2018… oh, let’s all Keep Calm and Carry On, and don’t forget to check your lemons!



So … it’s nearly the end of 2016! Hurrah, say many of you! So, it’s time for my e-Christmas card!

For the first time this year, alongside Advent material from Brian Draper and Embrace the Middle East, I’ve decided to do a ‘Reverse Advent Calendar‘, either to go to Trussell Trust, or a local charity I’ve become aware of – Re:dish, because one of the challenges of 2016 that there has been (aside from the global/celebrity stuff), is an increasing awareness of the importance of the #rethinksanctions campaign, especially in Manchester where homelessness is so evident.

And, a fraction late, we’re off #foodbank

A photo posted by Bex Lewis (@drbexl) on

Another area of concern, looking after the refugees – as in the original ‘Christmas Story‘ – is well illustrated in this video:

Also reflected in @JustinWelby’s speech on #UKValues:

So, lots of prayers for those, known and unknown, in a year that has felt difficult on a global scale!

So, taking a lighter tone, just because I enjoyed this:

remembering this, of course, from the Muslim Council of Great Britain:


…. and on that note, hopefully in 2017, you’ll see publication of a book or two related to Keep Calm and Carry On, and my PhD thesis!


*Cover image source:



Happy Christmas 2015

After so many dead robins appearing in my newsfeed, I thought I’d add a live one! My online Christmas card may be less effortful than last year – but here’s a few pics that I’ve enjoyed seeing appear in my newsfeed (with some random bits of news from me) to wish you a Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2016…


I’m not into Star Wars (I know, shock horror!), but the jokes still make sense – especially all the Yoda ones! Would you go carolling with Yoda?


Meantime, you may have noted the ‘slight’ Christian tone to some of my posts … (and if you’re still short on some presents – try Gadgets for God) – so this Keep Calm ‘version’ seemed appropriate (see this piece I wrote back in 2012) … and yes, I am slowly making my way from turning my PhD into a book – book proposal written, more research being done, first two chapters in progress…

If you want to see a South-Park type version of ‘the Christmas story’ check this out (ignore the theologically incorrect Kings who are 2 years early):

Or attend Christmas services live via Periscope:


So I have loved this picture going around and round my Facebook reminding us to de-commercialise Christmas (as I see photos of people queuing in the supermarkets!)


I have to say that what with being made redundant, moving cities to new job, teaching many new units, enjoying socialising in Manchester, buying a house (for 2016), still doing lots of press for Raising Children in a Digital Age,  I’ve not been inventive this Christmas, but have been inspired to contribute further to Trussell Trust, Tearfund, and other charities (not to puff off, but to get you to check them out)…

The main treat this Christmas:there-is-just-not-enough-time-in-the-day-for-all-the-naps-i-want-to-take-quote-1

And knowing that 2016, like the last few years, is not obsessed with ‘can’t have this, that and the other’ (wrote about this here)
12371022_10153738246883955_3270673291486740052_o Now … Happy Christmas and click for a special treat….



HAPPY CHRISTMAS #ChristmasStarts


Happy Christmas to one and all, thought you’d enjoy this festive scene: Jesus-coke

I thought this stable was a little bare, so I added a donkey to it, and ‘the means‘ to help make another cow (using ££ I might otherwise have spent on cards/stamps)!

Resulting from a number of reasons (broke-ness, being abroad for several Christmas’, disliking the consumerist pressure), I limit physical Christmas cards to those I know would particularly appreciate it because not online (usually older relatives!), and my local neighbours as part of building local community … so this is my ‘digital contribution’ to your Christmas seasonal enjoyment (and if you want to read about political Christmas cards, check out Pete’s post on BigBible).

So does Christmas start with a dodgy jumper… or even a dodgy Christmas suit.. or is it all about the penguins?


Once again, I’ve joined in with #adventbookclub, and Brian Draper’s #Advent20 as for me #Christmasstarts with Christ… but what else ‘joyful’ can I find online for you – such as this wonderful nativity scene spotted on Facebook…


This #TommytheTiger take on that John Lewis advert (not forgetting the fuss about the Sainsbury’s advert):

and if you’ve got a little more time, check out The Nativity Factor entries (the one with the most views by 22nd December “wins”, although I think winning a weekend with professional film-makers would be prize enough for me!).

In case you’re wondering, I’m onto the third draft of the book proposal for turning my PhD into a book, so let’s see if we can get it out there next year, and Raising Children in a Digital Age has done really well (went to re-print after 4 months- and no, that doesn’t make me rich!):


I’m looking forward to this Christmas, although not getting overly caught up anything beforehand (aside from trying to meet deadlines), but for those of you for whom Christmas will be a difficult time this year (I’ve been there), there’s some useful advice in this article.

Mereth Veren e-Doled Eruion