I love Christmas.
I love the feasting, the gift-giving, the nativity, the TV movies that always show Santa Claus having some sort of crisis in New York; I love the Christmas Eve visit to the Cathedral and the sound of the choir.
I love it that in the middle of winter we have a festival of food and lights – that we decorate our homes with tinsel and cover fir trees in lights and baubles, and we light candles and have parties and drink wine and beer and spirits. Not much of that bit is intrinsically Christian though; take away the church and the virgin birth and what we’re left with is more of a pagan mid-winter knees-up. Just the sort of thing we need to life the spirits and fill the bellies on the darkest, coldest days of the year.
It’s no wonder that the early Christians co-opted our winter-solstice binge into their brand-new religion. It’s great. And I like it that they co-exist so well, that the full-on winter partying stands happily alongside the celebration of the spiritual.
I intend to enjoy the whole thing. Like I always do.