Christmas music and decorations have already hit the shops as santas and angels jostle for window space. It’s pumpkins out and reindeer in. Themed music bombards the ears of shoppers, reminding them that, with just less than two months to go, time is running out.
Some regard this as an infringement on their rights, as the imposition of an outdated festival that has little to do with their beliefs and values. Christians complain at the secular materialism that has corrupted their sacred festival, while others remark that at least hymns are hear by those who would otherwise never set foot in a church, even if the ‘praise and worship’ is interspersed with renditions of ‘Rudolph’.
Whatever your standpoint, it forces you to at least spare a passing thought about the core of the festival-Jesus. Despite the trappings and traditions and the secular ‘add ons’, it is primarily a festival of faith and a celebration by millions of the incarnation of their Saviour. It is a time for family and friends, and despite the negatives (e.g. binge drinking, fuller shops, spending unnecessary amounts of money) I think that it has a lot going for it. For me it is a feast of remembrance, a time to sit back, relax(hopefully) and meditate on the past year and plan for the one to come. A time to enjoy the company of others, and for a short time forget all the mess and worries around us and enjoy a moment of peace.
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