It's December, so I can use the "C" word - Christmas! I am a complete Christmas junkie, and in an attempt to curb my enthusiasm, my husband tries (but fails!) to permit me to indulge in my obsession only from 1st December!
However, the world is not so kind to him. As soon as the children go back to school in September, our shops are full of Christmas cards, cute snowmen, and fat Santas. Christmas is so much in your face that by Christmas Eve even I feel that one more shop playing "Jingle Bells" will drive me nuts!! But where is "Christ" in Christmas? Each year, I find buying Christmas cards more and more difficult, as most have no relation whatsoever to the Nativity, or the birth of Jesus Christ, and the marvellous Good News that he brought to the world.
To Christians, Christmas Day is more than presents, decorations and all the commercial pressure to which we are subjected. It is even more than just about family, a feeling of general goodwill and the vague wish for "peace on earth". It is about God rescuing humanity by sending us his Son Jesus, to die for us, save us from our sins and defeat death by rising again and being with us all, even after our deaths.
But how do we reclaim the real meaning of Christmas? Well, go and attend a church service. Carol services give you a real feeling of joy; Christingles bring back a feeling of childlike wonder at any age and Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is an experience not to be missed.
How about attending our Advent Course, to learn how better to talk about Jesus to people?
And look around you. Many people find Christmas painful, hard and lonely. Could you show your love of God by loving your neighbour (or that lady on the next street!) better?
Go on I dare you; put the "Christ" back into Christmas!