"On this the most holy of days, me and Sheila wish all our family, neighbours and face book friends a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
I approach the end of 2014 as happy and as contented a person as I began it. Having been born in the year of the Horse in the Chinese calander, I am able to say that my wife has kept me well fed and warmly stabled this past year. She has been and shall always remain the greatest of treasures I have discovered in my life. I'm so glad now that she closed the stable door and harnessed me to her affections when we first met before I trotted into familiar gait and bolted!
Today is a good day to share your happiness with others and to thank the Lord for all the good things in life that surrounds us. It is after all that day of the year which is capable of melting the hardest of hearts and fulfilling the promise of the Christmas star. I recall one Christmas as a young child growing up the eldest of seven in a materially poor family. It was snowing deep outside and the only pair of footwear I possessed was holed in the sole, which mum had placed a piece of stiff card inside to stop the damp coming through (seemingly a common practice used by all families in need during the war years).
As I looked at my shoddy shoes I momentarily felt sorry for myself and shed a tear. Mum saw me cry and she said, 'Cheer up Billy and thank God that we are all safe and well as a family.' Then she reminded me that as a child in Southern Ireland she had occasionally gone without the benefit of sound footwear on many occasions as the eldest child in her large family. Then she said,' I cried when I had no shoes, but never knew how lucky I was until I met a man with no feet!'
God bless you Mum and Dad for your wise guidance and all of the Forde and Fanning family who now occupy a place that requires no shoes. Merry Christmas and all my love." William Forde: December 25th, 2014.