It feels good to get to the holiday season; after a long year it’s time to take a break over Christmas and New Year. You did a good job. Good on you—you deserve it.
It’s a privilege that as Christians we are given time off to observe Christmas. You’ll get Christmas Day off almost anywhere in the world (except for some parts of Asia and in the Middle East) which means nobody is expecting you to work on one of the most important days in the Christian calendar. People of other faiths don’t get such widespread recognition of days important to them.
But the widespread recognition also means there is pressure to secularise the day. It’s one of the most important times for consumer spending, and the holiday frenzy to prepare for entertaining friends and family comes at exactly the time we are supposed to be waiting in patient expectation during Advent! Every year there are stories of people getting anxious about retailers replacing the word “Christmas” with “holidays”. For Christians, re-emphasising the true meaning of Christmas has itself become a Christmas tradition.
This year I’m no different. On page six I ask a minister and an academic theologian about how to get past all the cultural baggage we have put on Christmas and really engage with the story again. What we find is messy, surprising and full of life.
On another note, thank you to those who completed the readership survey last month. The Journey team will take the (often contradictory!) suggestions on board as we plan Journey into 2016.
Thanks for reading Journey. Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.