Just writing this blog post will put me at odds with my family and friends, some who already accuse me of being a humbug.
I love advent, the celebration of the incarnation of Christ, and would love my year to take the shape of the remembrance of that. And yes I have heard many times the suggestion that Christmas can be about Jesus.
But it’s not for most people where I live, and seems to have very little to do with Him. It’s something that feels forced on me every year, with so many things we ‘have’ to do. I watch so many friends spend money they don’t have on credit cards and overdrafts and struggle to pay them off each year, just because ‘it’s Christmas’.*
And yes, as I have admitted to friends when they asked me, some awful things did happen to me at Christmas time when I was growing up, and no I don’t want therapy/prayer for Christmas :-). I’ve had people genuinely suggest I need prayer and ministry to embrace Christmas, which makes me want to resist the celebration of Christmas all the more.
So I will celebrate Advent with all my heart. And I will make the most of time off work, Christmas TV, and time with my family for sure. But if Christmas was cancelled I don’t think I would miss it at all.
*(Christmas is the time when the UK will spend £20bn with most of that in new consumer debt. About £1.6bn of this will be spent on food and drink alone. We will cook over 10m turkeys, at an estimated cost of £400m. We will also put up 7.5m Christmas trees, costing £245m. Hard to get our heads around those numbers, but that is people in the UK spending 4 times the money needed to rebuild all the countries affected by the Asian Tsunami.)