I hope I don’t offend anyone by singling out one of the many Christmas cards that we’ve received, but I really liked this one. The picture is called Aurora by Ryan Bliss.
It’s actually a corporate card – from one of the professional associations that I belong to. Usually I find that this type of card comes with some sort of ‘tinsel-ly’ version of the corporate logo, fit only for the recycling pile. There are two reasons why I liked this one. Firstly, it was sold in aid of a charity which provides independent advocacy for young people who are in residential care, and I think that it’s a good way for my association (The Association of Directors of Social Work) to spend money if they choose to send Christmas cards to their members.
But the main reason that I liked the card was the image on the front of it. It seems to fit with the way that I feel about Christmas this year. It’s alright to join in the festivities of the season (provided we don’t behave excessively in any form of consumption). At this time of year it’s good to have some fun and relax. This is a long-standing tradition in the dark, chilly northern winters. Yet, it seems to me that there is another message in this card – that while the festivities and Christmas lights might be in the foreground, there is something cosmic happening in the background. For many people, that’s how it will stay. But for me, as we approach Christmas Day, the emphasis is changing. I’m taking the time to focus on the cosmic aspect, to meditate and reflect on the significance of Christ’s birth. This may sound a bit trite – but I’m happy that I’ve found a way to bridge the gap this year… and not to be seen as the Christian killjoy moaning about the commercialisation of Christmas.
Christmas is what we make it – either a time of fun, relaxation and rejoicing or of stress-filled moaning and negativity.
Earlier this week I found this quotation, and while it’s out of context… it does seem to fit the bill.
“In the midst of the noise, rush, distractions and soul-neglect, we make space for God to speak to us and renew our relationship with him.”