The Man Who Invented Christmas
1 December 2017
If you’re anything like me, seeing the decorations arrive in stores around September fills me with dread and excitement: dread because it means the year is about to get incredibly fast in the downward run to Christmas; excitement because Christmas is simply one of those eagerly anticipated moments when the world kind of stops, thinks about family and celebrates … and well, it’s about then that things get interesting!
I saw a trailer for ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’ – the story of Charles Dickens and his writing of A Christmas Carol and I wondered, why is he getting credit for Christmas? Where did the baby in a manger, the Saviour of the world suddenly disappear? Isn’t that the reason we pause on Christmas day? I found myself a little miffed that Jesus seems to be getting subtlely erased.
Perhaps you might think that this is an overreaction. But it certainly challenged me to consider what I’m prepared to acknowledge with my own family and what we make Christmas about. Is it the bigger gift under the tree? Is it about what list I can create to help others with their purchases for me? Is it about remembering those less fortunate? Is it about ensuring family and togetherness is front and centre? Is it about realising and holding true to the sentiments of Christmas Carols – that Jesus was born, walked this earth and eventually died for each one of us? Now THAT’s a gift. And I don’t want to lose that message. I don’t want to give up on the idea that because of Jesus, we can give freely of ourselves to each other. We can ensure no one goes unloved or unnoticed in this season (well really at anytime, but you know what I mean).
We can delight in all that He has given us and then be prepared to share of our time, our hearts and our money. After all, He really is the reason for the season, and His birth changed everything – our eternity, for one thing!
“So don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Saviour has just been born in David’s town, a Saviour who is Messiah and Master” (Luke 2:10-11). Let’s enjoy this time of year because of all that we have been given.
Boredom can be a stepping-off point for wild adventure and discovery.
‘Children need to sit in their own boredom for the world to become quiet enough that they can hear themselves.’ Dr Vanessa Lapointe
Head of Secondary Avondale School