A couple of weeks ago I spotted that a MP from Northern Ireland in the DUP group called Jim Shannon had submitted a document to promote Christmas for all of us. I wrote about it here. His document for this year was entitled Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and sadly only 4 other MPs bothered to endorse the document. Three of them are also from the DUP party in Northern Ireland (Gavin Robinson, Paul Girvan and Carla Lockhart) but I was delighted that the first person who endorsed it was Tim Farron who is the Liberal Democratic MP for part of the Lake District which is a place I have visited when I was young. As it happens there has been a number of other documents in the past that focuses on Christmas and it is Jim Shannon who has written all of them.
In December 2021 he wrote a piece called Celebration of Christmas and along with Jim and two of his DUP colleagues (Carla Lockhart and Paul Girvan) there were also two SNPs (Lisa Cameron and Marion Fellows) and two Conservative MPs (Mike Penning and Bob Blackman).
In December 2020 he wrote a piece called Happy Christmas message and along with Jim and three of his DUP colleagues (Paul Girvan, Gavin Robinson and Gregory Campbell) there was one Conservative MP (Mike Penning).
The year before he wrote another Celebration of Christmas in 2019 and that year along with Jim and seven of his DUP colleagues (Ian Paisley, Sammy Wilson, Paul Girvan, Gavin Robinson, Jeffrey Donaldson, Gregory Campbell and Carla Lockhart) there was also one Labour (Dan Carden), one SNP (Martyn Day) and one Conservative MP (Fiona Bruce).
Back in 2018 he wrote a piece called THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH AT CHRISTMAS and that year along with Jim he persuaded 9 of his DUP colleagues (Paul Girvan, Jeffrey Donaldson, Gavin Robinson, Ian Paisley, Emma Little Pengelly, David Simpson, Sammy Wilson, Gregory Campbell and Nigel Dodds) and one Independent from Northern Ireland (Sylvia Hermon) and also 4 Labour (Mary Glindon, Ronnie Campbell, Jim Cunningham and John Grogan) 2 SNP (Lisa Cameron and Patrick Grady) and 2 Conservative MPs (Bob Blackman and Peter Bottomley).
In 2017 he wrote THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS and along with Jim he had five of his DUP colleagues (Paul Girvan, David Simpson, Gavin Robinson, Emma Little Pengelly and Gregory Campbell) 4 SNPs (Brendan O’Hara, Martyn Day, Patricia Gibson and David Linden) 3 Labour (Mary Glindon, Conor McGinn and Marie Rimmer) 2 Conservative (Bob Blackman and Fiona Bruce) and one Liberal Democratic (Edward Davey).
In 2016 Jim wrote CHRISTMAS WISHES and he had 4 DUP colleagues (David Simpson, Gregory Campbell, Ian Paisley and Gavin Robinson) 3 Conservatives (Fiona Bruce, Bob Blackman and Andrew Rosindell) 1 SNP (Martyn Day) and 1 Labour MP (Gordon Marsden).
His first Christmas event in 2015 which was also the first time that anyone had celebrated Christmas and Jim wrote CHRISTMAS MESSAGE and along with him 3 DUP colleagues (Gregory Campbell, Gavin Robinson and David Simpson) 9 SNPs (Paul Monaghan, Mike Weir, Ian Blackford, Martyn Day, Patrick Grady, Chris Law, Kirsten Oswald, Alex Salmond and Philippa Whitford) 3 Conservatives (Peter Bottomley, Bob Blackman and Julian Lewis) 5 Labour (Ronnie Campbell, Jim Cunningham, Alan Meale, Virendra Sharma and Keith Vaz) 3 Social Democratic & Labour MPs (Mark Durkan, Alasdair McDonnell and Margaret Ritchie) and 1 Liberal Democratic MP (Mark Williams).
It will be interesting to see who raises this theme next year and in the meantime we than Jim for his pieces which are listed below.
2022: That this House recognises the true meaning of Christmas being the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as the first step of God’s redemptive plan; highlights the greatest gift that was given that first Christmas of love and forgiveness in the form of a baby; expresses gratitude that we are able to openly practise and express our faith at Christmas and all the year through; thinks and prays for those in other nations where freedom of religious belief is only a dream and where persecution for faith is a daily battle; and takes the opportunity to wish everyone across this United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland a blessed and safe Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
2021: That this House notes the celebration of Christmas across the UK as an important time for faith and family in every corner of the nation; further notes that there are many who will continue to go into work and care for others throughout the Christmas period and thanks them wholeheartedly for leaving their family so others are not alone; highlights the wonderful charitable work that sees the homeless fed, the needy helped and the lonely befriended as people seek to fulfil the aim of Christ to help the poor and needy and to point them to a loving God who never leaves and never forsakes; and takes the opportunity to wish all a very happy Christmas and a blessed, peaceful and safe New Year.
2020: That this House notes the celebrations of Christmas and the family time that it brings which is needed now more than ever; encourages the public to make good choices and to take every precaution to keep safe and keep our loved ones safe; takes the opportunity to highlight the Birth of Christ and that the beginning of God’s redemptive plan of love is the true foundation of Christmas; conveys our sincere sympathy to those who will find Christmas very difficult to celebrate with the empty chair around the table this year; expresses our profound gratitude to every key worker who will miss part or all of Christmas to keep providing care and love for those in need; and further takes this opportunity to wish every constituent, friend and ally of this United Kingdom a very peaceful and safe Christmas and a healthy and happy new year.
2019: That this House takes the opportunity to pass on its best wishes to constituents throughout the UK for a wonderful Christmas time and a blessed and prosperous New Year; further welcomes the tremendous charity work that is being carried out by Trussell Trust Foodbanks, Salvation Army and St Vincent De Paul, amongst many others, to ensure that families have food and are able to enjoy the festivities; and thanks the many denominations of churches that carry out voluntary work every week of the year and make such a tremendous difference to society in an attempt to show the love of God which is most exemplified when considering the greatest gift of God to earth in the birth of the lovely Lord Jesus as part of His great redemption plan.
2018: That this House expresses sincere thankfulness that we live in a country which allows us to celebrate the birth of Jesus and Christmas; considers those states in which to even whisper the name of Jesus would mean death; prays for those who can only celebrate Christmas in their heart; and affirms the dedication of this House to seek to influence by any diplomatic means possible, any state which continues to permit the persecution of Christians based solely on their love of Jesus.
2017: That this House recognises the real meaning of Christmas being the celebration of the birth of Christ; urges people to remember to keep Christ in their Christmas and to use the time to show love to family, friends, neighbours and community alike; and takes the opportunity to wish everyone in this United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland a very Happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.
2016: That this House reaffirms the right of every person in this country to use the phrase Happy Christmas; and encourages communities to remember and celebrate the real reason for Christmas which is the birth of Christ and to take the opportunity to enjoy time with loved ones as we a nation celebrate together.
2015: That this House remembers those who at this time of year, in particular, face persecution and discrimination for their religious beliefs; recognises that, despite these difficulties, the true message of Christmas will reach such people of faith no matter where they are and what difficulties they might face; and wishes them to know that, this year and every year, we will be thinking of them.