CHRISTMAS message from Rev Sue Tucker, of St Mary's Church, Chard, can be found here.

THE perfect Christmas we see in advertisements is often far from what we anticipate our day will be like.

We see smiling families opening presents under a perfectly dressed tree and then tucking into a beautifully cooked lunch.

In our house, the gravy is always lumpy, the cranberry sauce has been forgotten and the tree already has more needles on the floor than the branches, but no-one really seems to notice.

What is noticed are the people we have loved and continue to love, but who have died. We miss grandad, a husband, mum, sister, a good friend.

As a family we light a candle, put it on the table and remember. We smile and there are usually a few tears, but it’s all OK and from then on somehow it doesn’t matter a jot what lunch is like, lumpy gravy included.

At the heart of Christmas is love – human love and God’s love. The two are inseparable.

Christians believe we’ve been given friends, partners, children, parents to love’ and through Jesus we’ve been shown how to love.

So, this Christmas, when the dog eats the turkey and the jumper doesn’t fit, remember the ones you love and who love you, and thank God for them.

I wish you all a joyful and loving Christmas.