Do not get misunderstand me. Christmas at the Welsh Hovel will not be a dry celebration of the birth of Christ. We too, will tuck into a bird (duck), will enjoy Christmas Pudding and brandy butter. Santa will be left with a glass of Metaxa and a mince pie and will reward good boys, girls, adults and cats with a full stocking. There will be presents for all under our tree which is currently sitting in the garden where it lives for 49 weeks a year as I am a bit of a closet greenie. Indeed, in an unusual burst of efficiency, the main presents for the Mrs and Joshua are already here. However in this household we know what we are celebrating.
So, whatever daft restrictions are impoased on us, I plan to drive my neighbour to midnight mass in a neighbouring village. The Mrs and Joshua will go to an afternoon service on Christmas Eve. Joshua knows about Mary, Joseph, the wise men, the angels and the rest of the nativity story and that December 25 is the birthday of Jesus. Of course it is not for various reasons which we can discuss in a scholarly fashion elsewhere.
But for now we will start the countdown on December 1 as Joshua opens the first window of an an Advent calendar with no chocolates behind the windows but with pictures and verses from the gospels. Joshua and I are talking about making a crib. We celebrate and over-indulge because we remember the birth of God’s son. Whatever you are doing on December 25 it is because of Jesus that you have a special day to do whatever you wish. To pretend that this is just a “happy holiday” which is nothing to do with Jesus is a denial.
But each year the Godless ,liberals engage in that denial and in ghastly consumerism while mocking those of us with faith as living in the dark ages. So when does Christmas start for you? The idea of Advent calendars is a relatively modern one ( the 1850s) but at least in celebrating the coming of Christ ( young folks google the Latin for the coming) there is some logic in what we do. But for the liberal, like professional biscuit reviewer (I kid you not) Matt Mitchell, there is a different kick off point. Matt thinks Christmas starts not when Santa appears at the Thanksgiving day parade but when Dolly Parton does a Christmas sing along.
I am sure that it is only a matter of time before the hapless Church of England takes Matt up on his suggestion.