Buried Amongst the Tinsel

The glitz of Christmas sometimes seems overwhelming. As the years have galloped onwards, it seems that the Christmas season has become ever more frenetic and frenzied.

I love Christmas. Every year I read the Christmas story anew, and the familiar words bring that same sense of wonder.

I love carols – the songs of joy and hope – and I enjoy the decorations and the lights, and the giving of gifts. Although sometimes I do giggle when I hear some shopping centre playing ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland’ when it’s forty degrees (celsius) outside.

What I struggle with more each year, is the rampant consumerism that seems to be engulfing us all. The push to buy more goes on and on relentlessly, blasting from every speaker, television and sign, and the layer of tinsel and trees seems to grow thicker every second, obscuring the actual story of Christmas.

Regular readers have probably picked up on the fact that I’m a Christian, so the story of the baby in the manger is at the centre of my Christmas. When our children were small, we enjoyed the make believe of Santa Clause – or Father Christmas, which was the name that the big fat bloke had when I was growing up – along with the central themes of angels, shepherds and wise men. It was joyful balance of belief and fantasy.

On Friday, we’ll head off to church, become half of the music team for the Christmas service, and celebrate the birth of Jesus, before heading home for a lunch of prawns, ham, salmon and chicken, and then we’ll top it off with ice-cream pudding and crackers.

It’s so easy to be caught up in the hustle of commercialised Christmas, with its fantasies of snow, reindeer and perfect presents, and forget that there can be a much deeper meaning to the season.

Every now and then I wonder what it’s like to celebrate Christmas in a way that is only fantasy. Of course, many of you reading this probably think my beliefs are fantasy, and that’s fine, but I suppose what I’m talking about is the difference between holding a religious belief (for want of a better description) about the season, versus deliberately participating in something they firmly believe is a myth, whether that be the big fat bloke, or the baby in the manger.

I know that sounds really weird, but clearly my mind does work weirdly at times.

Obviously, other traditions celebrate different things at this time of year as well, so we Christians aren’t the only ones marrying belief with other things – there’ll be a variety of different religious traditions celebrating in their own ways at the same time.

I’d be keen to hear what other people think. How do you celebrate Christmas if Christianity isn’t part of your belief system? Or in fact, do you celebrate it? What do you tell your kids?

It’ll be interesting to hear your views.





3 thoughts on “Buried Amongst the Tinsel

  1. I have to agree with you Christmas became commercialized, hard competition for our Lord and Savior to compete with. Here in the USA they call it Black Friday everyone has to go shopping before sunrise but I guess that isn’t good enough anymore they start shopping already on Thanksgiving night. It is so sad, everyone has the idea that giving stuff is what it’s all about, adding more and more debt to credit cards that don’t get paid off, slowly destroying the fabric of what our country was made of. I had a recent post Christmas 1944.

    As a youngster I didn’t have much of a church life, I had an aunt that made sure us kids attended church and Sunday school as we finished high school living at their house. I’m very thankful for her. I think Christianity as we know it, would’ve ended in this country years ago without mothers, grandmothers and aunts see that that children learned about the Lord. My wife and I have been very active in our church for over 40 years but now as our health deteriorates more we aren’t involved as much. Not serving on boards or even attending church regularly now because she’s on oxygen 24 seven and it is a very hard just to get dressed and get out the door anymore. I do know we continue to be blessed and it’s hard to comprehend how that can be. But I do believe that if a person accepts the Lord as his Savior, welcomes him into their heart, he will take pretty good care of you.

    We want to wish you and yours a very Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    • Thank you so much for commenting 🙂

      As I reply, I’m just finishing the Christmas cooking, and listening to Christmas Carols.

      I hope you and your wife have a happy and blessed Christmas this year.

  2. Hey Rae, I'd just like to thank you for your honesty. Th39#&eer;s not enough of it in the Church today, and I really believe that being open about what's really going on in our hearts is the only way we can pray for and support each other like the Body of Christ is really meant to do. I often feel like you do in this post. Thanks for being willing to say it.

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