That brings with it a certain temptation to mutter 'Bah, Humbug', in accordance with tradition. This year I'm resisting that, but it can be hard work!
Not that I mind Christmas as such. I'm all for kids getting excited, for a sense of wonder in the air, for the stupendous miracle at the heart of it all - that God is with us, in the most profound way he could be. By being one of us.
I'm not so keen on the pressure to get cards and presents, to plan visits, and to try and keep focused on the reality in the midst of all the commercialised hype. I'm tired of all the old arguments and objections, people pointing out every year that this is really a pagan celebration which the Church has hijacked - as if that's somehow new and shocking and is going to destroy everyone's faith when they hear it.
To keep the Christ Child clear in the centre of it all, that's the aim, but it can be hard work. (I've got a poem on the subject - 'The Sound of Christmas'). True Christmas is a reality I want to find, not escape from.
However, while we're on the subject of escaping from reality, my friends and fellow writers at ACW (Association of Christian Writers) have a marvelous and eclectic range of escape routes, and some more have been added to their blog. Including one of mine, but don't let that put you off! Here's the link..
More Than Writers
While you go off and look at that, I've got more Christmas Preparations to do. The Family Letter is way overdue, and I want to put together an E-card to go with it. Bah, Hum...