Thursday, 7 December 2017

Avoiding Advent Adverts

As I was driving to Cambridge to meet up with a friend yesterday, I tuned in to Classic FM.  I couldn’t help but notice how prescriptive the adverts felt in between the music.  I was told that Raymond Brigg’s Snowman was an essential part of Christmas (so why not go out and buy a copy!!), and that shopping at Morrisons would make it a good Christmas!

Does anyone believe adverts anymore?!

So, as I drove up the M11 I made a decision that, essential or not, I can do without the Snowman this year, and just because it’s Christmas I won’t abandon our regular supermarket retailer in favour of one promising ‘good’ seasonal cheer.

It strikes me we all have choices to make at this time of year.  We don’t have to become a victim to other people’s agendas.

We even make choices about the story at the centre of this season.  We don’t have to take it all as historical fact, instead we can see the enduring value of ‘myth’ at its very centre.  We can choose not to get over concerned by the details but simply rejoice in the concept of Immanuel, an ‘alongside’ God, and just how mind-blowing that thought always is.  We can choose to balance a family celebration alongside a season of prayerful worship whilst seeing value in both.

And perhaps most of all we can choose to be open to the surprises of The Spirit and the joys of Advent without having too much of a prescribed plan; because living in the moment and valuing it is, I suspect, never more important than it is in December.

Actually I love the Snowman story and if Morrisons were local I’d happily shop there.  But I don’t believe either is essential to Christmas and that neither will inevitably make it good!

I make the choice to look elsewhere for a deeper meaning to the season.

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