I love Christmas, but …

I love Christmas. But I often feel that the Christmas I love and the Christmas I celebrate do not always seem to be the same thing … and I don’t think that I’m alone in this.

The Christmas I celebrate has two main features – Church and family. That’s good. That’s a big part of what I love.

Detail from the Reredos in St Mary’s Church, Chilthorne Domer

I love exchanging presents. I love Christmas dinner – with all the trimmings. I love the tree, the crib, the cards (well, most of them, anyway). I love the traditions. Continue reading “I love Christmas, but …”

The True Meaning of Christmas

The words the true meaning of Christmas crop up quite a lot at this time of year. Often they’re heard when someone is bemoaning the rampant commercialism and consumerism that accompanies the run up to Christmas_House_LightsChristmas. And then again you hear them when someone is complaining that the Christmas promotions in the shops in the high street and the advertisements on television appear to start earlier and earlier each year. You hear them when someone takes exception to the over-the-top Christmas decorations which some people put up outside their homes.

On the other hand, in an almost opposite case, you will hear them spoken when we hear of a local council or business “cancelling” the Christmas party or refusing to display Christmas decorations or preferring instead a “non-religious” alternative because the celebration of such an overtly Christian festival might offend people of another faith, or none. Continue reading “The True Meaning of Christmas”

… to cultivate the earth and take care of it

The fourth storm of the winter hFloodas brought chaos and anxiety to the north of the country. I know it’s the fourth storm because the Met Office now gives them names and this one is called Desmond. High winds have led to bridge closures, homes are without power, homes have been evacuated as the floods rise, the army has been called in and the government has called emergency meetings to discuss the right response to the crisis. All of this at the same time as the Paris Climate talks are taking place as world leaders endeavour to find a way to agree on the measures that need to be taken to minimise the effects on the world of global warming. Continue reading “… to cultivate the earth and take care of it”