Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas – what a funny old mess.


Christmas – what a funny old mess.

For example:
> I have a Jewish friend who celebrates Christmas because he likes presents, turkey and pudding. He doesn't have a clue that the true meaning of Christmas is Santa Claus - or is it the Easter Bunny, or tinsel, or an angel up a tree?

> When I was about 20, I had a Pastor who abhorred Christmas as a being a Christian festival and wouldn't hold a Christmas church service because he was a Puritan and Christmas was 'draped in the rags of popery'. He did however like pudding and turkey and presents.

> I was in Bethlehem this year where the Greek and Armenian priests hold their annual Christmas punch-up about who gets first dibs on poking their head in the place of Christ's birth. The actual 'supposed' slab where the manger is said to have been placed is filled with candles and is encased in bird wire and looks like a ferret's cage. I must have missed something, because other people were crying in awe. I got the giggles.

> There is supposed to have been a woman who complained aloud in a card shop when she saw a nativity scene on a Christmas card, 'The (*&*&%^&$ church! They try to get religion into everything.'

It's a mess. 
With Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Sinta Klaus, trees, baubles, tinsel,  televised carols by candlelight shows, pudding, charity appeals, suicides, turkey, rampant alcohol abuse, rampant gluttony, rampant present abuse, rampant card abuse, superstition, emotional pap about it being Jesus birthday (spare us!) the invention of Winterval, Chrisukka, Happy Holidays, political appeasement and cultural sensitivity, deaths on the roads and it only being 11 months since last one, I don't know whether to take up arms and oppose the whole thing or just go back to watching the cricket on TV and have another fruit mince pie.

So what's Christmas all about?
Apparently Christmas is about whatever you like, and as long as you don't think your take on it is true, I'm OK with that. My reality is that as long as I get turkey, pudding and a present on Christmas day I'm happy because I celebrate the reality of Jesus everyday of the year and that he took action and conquered death and that he is not the reason for the season but he is in fact The Season and will remain so, day after punishing day, until the Great Day when we shall know him as he is.