Winter in ScotlandIt is becoming a bit of cliché in certain circles to have a moan about the true meaning of Christmas being eroded away. How many of the Christmas cards that you recently gathered and binned bore any mention of the nativity story? Occasionally terms like ‘Wintervale’ are thrown around, usually by those who immediately follow it with an (understandable) accusation of political correctness gone wrong. We can lament the demise of the primary school nativity play, being replaced with stories of Rudolf and Santa’s elves, and we can sigh at the uninspiring ‘Seasons Greetings’ that adorn our cards, but is this just an inevitable (lagged) effect of a society coming to terms with itself in a post-Christendom Britain?

I’m no expert on the subject, but I think I’m right in saying that before Christmas had even been thought up this time of year was a pagan festival (along with Easter). In a clever evangelistic move the early church merely changed the meaning of yearly celebrations already in place, and integrated them into the church calendar under new names.

Now I have chosen, and continue to choose, to steer my life towards a Christian world view, and to hold highly the stories of the bible and allow them, along with the communities of faith that I am a part of, to guide and influence my life. So I will continue to tell the ancient stories of Christmas – of God born as man on Earth – and to celebrate and remember. But can I expect others not so inclined to tow the Christ party line, and not just go out and party? I’m not sure.