Advent Firesiders

Reforming Christmas (2018)

So, in summary, what will Christmas look like if we lose Advent, suffer a decline in Christmas Eucharist attendance in favour of greater attendance in children's Nativity Plays, stop sending and receiving Christmas cards and lose Father Christmas? What will be left?

In the first place, we have to remember that the Christmas we know is not the Christmas there has always been. The man in the red coat, for instance, is a late 1920s North American invention; Christmas cards came in with the penny post in the middle of the 19th Century; and Advent almost disappeared between 1540 and 1840.

Secondly, we can re-make our own Christmas but we need to be both clear-headed and brave and that might mean a shorter Advent and  less sentimental view of the Incarnation; if we lose the show video Nativity Play but gain adult nativity plays which involve children, we might be making some progress. And if we lose the stable but seize on the reality of God born among us to die for us, we might be making further progress.

What is sure is that things are not standing still and we need to be part of a campaign to save what is important about Christmas.