Advent Firesiders

Tradition and Today iv (2013)

I know it's a bit of a generalisation, but haven't you noticed how het-up non-believers get about what they do and where they go on Christmas Day. All over the country in the weeks before the special day, people agonise over how they can get out of spending yet another acrimonious day with their Uncle Stanley. I know, one line of thought is that it's our Christian duty to donate the day of Christ's birth to people we ought to live, even if we don't like them, not least our own family members; but it's often occurred to me that Uncle Stanley is feeling much the same thing about us. Where there is virtue in conscious, open and honest attempts to love, there's no virtue in a grim compact of mutual silence.

I know it's just a little unlikely, but what about making a phone call:

Me: Hello Uncle Stanley. I know we've been coming to you for Christmas for as long as we can remember but we wondered how that suits you.

Stanley: Well, actually, I've never had the courage to say that I'd be much happier with the mates I usually go to the pub with on Friday nights. So, if you don't mind, it would suit me better if you came on Boxing day.