It is not worth striving for the perfect Christmas, the Archbishop of Canterbury has suggested, because even the events of the nativity were chaotic.
Dr Rowan Williams (right) said many families started each festive season with good intentions, such as writing cards weeks in advance and arranging every detail of the turkey dinner.
But preparations often descended into "the usual mess" and a "last-minute panic", with the problems made worse this year by financial worries.
The Archbishop, in an informal piece for BBC Radio 2's 'Pause for Thought', reassured listeners that it was unnecessary to worry about the perfect Christmas, as Mary and Joseph themselves were in the midst of chaos when Jesus was born.
"The story of the first Christmas is the story of a series of completely unplanned, messy events," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)