But this year has been different living and helping lead people through advent with weekly meditations, 10 days of Compline before Christmas and sermons on waiting to be written. Of course there have been the odd few carol services, but not as many as some churches not too far from here, and I found John Saxbee helpful on that http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=67443.
So helping at the crib service and seeing and somehow sharing in the wonder of the young children and then presiding at midnight, with a short walk home in which to wonder at it all gave me a new way of seeing Christmas - hard to put into words - but it felt like a celebration at a birth - rather than several weeks afterwards!
But how realistic is it for the church to want things our way? Society has decided that Christmas starts in early December (if we are lucky - earlier if not) can we and should we fight against it - or is there some way of working with it? I think for me this year has changed me in that before I would have said work with it - the impact of advent had passed me by for so long, and yet now, although I want to introduce the joys of waiting to others I still recognise the difficulty of the task - and wonder how it can be done without having the message diluted. Answers please on a postcard...
I discovered the following song in a track from Audiopot which I played on the radio (if yuo want to know which one it was this one https://www.audiopot.org/track.php?do=detail&linkid=1350 - members only) - I liked it so thought I would share it.