…giving in. In the words of the Three Degrees – Seventies sultry chanteuses, I am giving up. Over the past few years, I have expended too much energy trying to fight back Christmas until the last possible moment so this year I am changing tack. I am on the run in to Christmas. I will not get worked up because of Argos’s insistence on playing Wizard from November 18th onwards, I am going to smile benignly when John Lewis are bothering me with some nonsense about an alien and I have paid my money for the work’s Christmas party. I have even bought some Christmas baubles. I also get extra points because they are from a local independent shop. I am a bit worried that the mistletoe one looks a bit like a giant moth but let’s not talk about that. So Merry Christmas everyone. Hurrah.
HOWEVER. What everyone should know is that, if Christmas needs to start now, then I will be getting all Christmas religious a few weeks early. We actually sang a Carol this morning in church. Our minister chose it because some of the words fitted what he was talking about but I thought that if I am already looking at adverts for sofas that are going to, almost inexplicably, make my Christmas more Christmassy then I am going to belt out “It came upon a midnight clear” in mid-November and that’s the end of it.
Let’s face it, there is definitely a need to put a bit of religion back into Christmas. We got some Christmas decorations out at work this week (we are trying to Christmas up our raffle tickets sale – not that I approve of gambling obviously but we need the money – there’s been a pandemic on). Anyway, years ago, I took one of my many nativity sets into work to add to the decorations in a mainly hopeless attempt to add a bit of religion to the festivities and, to be fair, they do put it out every year. However, I had to go and rearrange all the figures. They had the shepherds standing with Mary, Joseph outside with a donkey, the Angel Gabriel was inside the stable with his back to baby Jesus and all the Wise Men were riding off into the sunset having apparently decided not to give the whole event very much of their attention. Really.
I’m not really embracing all of this obviously. I watched a lady on YouTube describing how her run-in to Christmas. She begins her prep by going into every room in her house with a notebook. She makes a list of all the little jobs on hand in each room. Then she does each room individually – making it ready for the festive season. Doing any paint touch up jobs that are needed after pulling out all the furniture and sorting out any small repairs etc. Then all furniture is replaced and each room decorated with a festive slant so that, by the time actual Christmas here, she has a fully decorated home and then she moves on to the Christmas meal. I am in no way critical of this. This is so far out of my universe of experience that I have nothing but admiration. I am hoping to change the duvet cover – that’s about the sum of it.
I suppose, after last year, when our dear leader – through impeccable timing when it came to lockdowns – managed to cancel most of Christmas, that people are really ready for some festive celebrations. You can’t really blame anyone for wanting to go for it nice and early. Christmas is and always has been a good news story – the best story and, in my more optimistic moments, I sometimes think that people are, almost unconsciously tuning into something astonishing. Because, ultimately, we are all looking for a light and when the one who is the light comes, we should feel it – even if we are not sure what it is we are feeling. So, I’m cheering up this year and going along with the Christmas feelings – even if it’s not the way I feel it should be because I think that people are hearing a whisper, a breath of who it is behind all of this and that is to be celebrated.
John 1. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out