It happens every year - Christmas. I don’t know why it comes as such a shock as it shouldn’t be any surprise but like summer leaking out of spring and winter falling on us after autumn – it’s sort of new every year with its excitement and frustrations.
I have friends (bless their hearts) who get so excited they start counting down in July. Their spectacular trees are festooned with delightful handmade ornaments and parcels which look like they were wrapped at Harrods. Others dread the coming season with homes filled with kids bored already in the holidays and the expectation of presents the budget just can’t keep up with.
Don’t forget those who lost loved ones at Christmas, to whom the smell of pine and the array of twinkling lights only exacerbates their mourning. Then there are the broken and melded families who are wondering how they split their time between two or more groups of parents and grandparents without upsetting anyone’s sensibilities.
It’s a glad time, and a sad time and even a scary time often all mingled together.
So let’s not forget what Christmas is all about – it’s about celebrating a birthday. A birthday that divides the western calendar between BC and AD and underpins the very nature of our culture and the rights of humanity we hold so dear.
It’s not about trees at all, or presents, or stuffing ourselves with scrumptious seasonal food. That’s all just peripheral because it’s really about a baby born in a manger who lived, died and rose again. His name is Jesus.