2020 has been a hard year, but I believe there is hope and no better time to discover that then now. Together with friends, I’m creating a map of #christmas2020 activity trails across the UK. This article explains a little bit about why this matters.
“If there was ever a year that needed Christmas, this is it“. Boden
This recent Boden advert says exactly what many of us are feeling and have been experiencing, this is the year of all years that we really need Christmas and yet Christmas has been cancelled.
For some, Christmas started really early. There have been numerous reports of decorations and lights going up even as early as March, like Tanner Huber’s garden below. Hashtags like #christmaslights and #lockdownlightup have been trending, throughout the pandemic.
For those who didn’t turn on their lights during lockdown, you can’t have missed what’s happening at the moment. Last Sunday my social media feed was full of tree’s, decorations and Christmas cheer. But Its not just me saying this. Christmas tree growers have reported that wholesale business is already 24% higher this year. It seems to me that Christmas is trending. But what can Christmas really offer us this year?
For Christmas 2020 all the usual parties, secret santa’s and grottos have long gone and the hopes of a family Christmas is seemingly impossible. Yet we’re still decorating, still switching on lights and still buying. In ancient times, people decorated their homes with evergreen branches. During the dark days of winter, they brightened their homes to remind them that life would return in the springtime. Christmas for many is a time of comfort, bright lights and good times. But could it offer even more?
Well Boden is saying that we really need Christmas and I couldn’t agree more. However much I love the Boden advert, the only way I will get the Christmas they’re offering is to spend lots of money. Sadly, I simply can’t afford the Christmas they’re offering. It looks beautiful but its completely exclusive. Even if I could buy their clothes, where am I going to wear them anyway this year? Could it be that the Christmas we all really need is completely different to one we’ve experienced before?
Maybe the answer is to be found in the recent Tesco advert? The well known rhetoric of Santa has been srcapped this year. Normally Santa only gives gifts to those who have been good, however Tesco in the light of the pandemic have scrapped the naughty list. Tesco has started the #nonaughtylist, finally everyone can get presents! At first glance this sounds great. But could there be something even better than this? You see denying the presence of naughtiness doesn’t remove it from our lives. It only takes five minutes in our household to realise that Tesco’s ethos just doesn’t reflect the reality of my life. Could there be another message still where gifts are given freely rather than earnt or deserved?
You see, I need a story a message, that is not only good, beautiful and true, but one that works in reality. One that brings light into my darkness and one that isn’t dependant on me.
I love this bit in the Lion the witch and the wardrobe stories. The presence of Father Christmas, shows the weakening power of the white witch.
“Didn’t I tell you,” answered Mr. Beaver, “that she’d made it always winter and never Christmas? Didn’t I tell you? Well, just come and see!”
And then they were all at the top and did see.
It was a sledge, and it was reindeer with bells on their harness...
“I’ve come at last,” said he. “She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The Witch’s magic is weakening.”
And Lucy felt running through her that deep shiver of gladness which you only get if you are being solemn and still.” Narnia
Imagine a Christmas a bit like this story. Imagine a Christmas that could bring light into our darkness and spring into our winter.
Imagine a Christmas that could bring light into our darkness, spring into our winter.Tweet
This is the story of the nativity. For centuries and centuries a prophecy was told about a child with great destiny, a child who would become King. A child that was given as a gift to bring light and hope into the world.
If ever there was a year that needed Christmas, this is it. Communities across the UK are running nativity trails and Windows of Hope. Why not take this time to pause, slow down and see the story afresh. What kind of child could bring spring out of our winter and light into our darkness?
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
2020 has been a hard year, but I believe there is hope and no better time to discover that then now. I’m creating a map of #christmas2020 activity trails across the UK. Please get in touch if you’d like the link to add your trail.
For local friends in Southampton, here is a map of Christmas activities across Southampton.
If you don’t have a trail in your community why not join in with this Christmas bake along with Faith in Kids and Great British Bake Off Martha Collinson