December 2010: Christmas
Not long after Father’s Day, the Christmas puddings were laid out on the shelves in David Jones. On November 23 I had my first official Christmas “do” and shows on TV were starting their Christmas specials, winding down for summer holidays.
We’re accelerating the silly season. So why do I feel so serious?
One reason could be that the nexus between Christians and Christmas is weakened by this flagrant commercialisation.
As author Donald Heinz suggests in his new book (page 13), we’ve reached a nadir: “The core religious festival is now nearly buried under a landfill of material culture produced by market forces.”
A lover of Christmas, Heinz is also sure the “festival of incarnation” can mean just that: Jesus coming to earth to ruffle our expectations and inject new life into tired customs; shoot sap into wilting pine trees and uplift sagging stars in the East.
Incarnation should not be “just another ornament”, he says, but rather change us in fundamental ways.
So … let’s safeguard simplicity this Christmas.
Refrain from harsh spending and deepening debt.
Give water to the weary and love where it’s needed.
Take two of the books Insights has reviewed this month … and chill.
Count our blessings. And enjoy the feast.
Share the greatest gift of all.
With Christmas blessings from Uniting Creative: Esther, Kim, Lyndal, Marjorie, Adrian, Chloe, Stephen and Camilla