|Snowmen: What do they have to do with Christmas?|
Never one to be organised, I've just managed to send off some cards, but it took me a few shops to discover a box of cards with an image that reflected something about the Incarnation.
Two shops on London Road, one called Card Factory, for Heaven's sake, didn't have a single Christmas card with imagery which we would understand reflect the birthday of Our Saviour.
Loads of snowmen, loads of Santas, loads of trees, lots of wintery scenes, mistletoe and maybe, if you're lucky, a wreath here or there, but when it actually comes to a visual representation of the Nativity, which is at the very heart of the great Feast of Christmas, it is very hard to find. It's almost as if the World cannot cope with the enormity of the event, the huge spiritual implications of remembering Salvation History and looking forward to the End of History, so that, much like in Easter (which is obviously about bunnies, chicks and chocolate eggs) it has to concoct something else that walks beside Him, but never dares to meet Him.
Of course, we can say that Father Christmas is a bi-product of St Nicholas of Myra and it may even be true. We can say that Christmas trees contain Christian symbolism and that they are a bi-product of St Boniface because he cut down the tree of Thor in order to disprove the legitimacy of the Norse gods to the local German tribe and saw a fir tree growing in the roots of the old oak, and it may even be true. We can say that an Advent wreath is a Christian tradition that symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent and it may even be true.
|Not many of these cards are sold...|
Ironically, it is the naffness of the modern Christmas, the profound, zealously commercial vulgarity of Christmas that decides that Christmas is about everything else but Christ, that ends up turning me off even putting up a tree or placing any decorations up and doing anything in the flat save for buying a small nativity scene.
Modern Western civilisation cannot cope with even the idea that Almighty God became a Baby and that wise men or Magi worshipped Him, cannot cope with remembering that God became Man, cannot cope with, well, Christmas, so it has to turn it into a kind of secular festive holiday and, well, cash in gratuitously. Haven't the media being saying sales are down this Christmas because of the dire economic crises with which we are afflicted? Oh, how terrible! The nation isn't buying loads of expensive stuff for family and friends because they're in debt?! Oh well, never mind. There is more to life, and more to Christmas, indeed, than money. The Gospels tell us that the Holy Family were dependent upon charity even for the Blessed Virgin to find somewhere, which was not particularly sanitary, to give birth and she, yes, she certainly meditated upon the real meaning of Christmas, for she held it in her arms and looked at Him, face to face!
Jesus is the 'reason for the season'! So, bah...