Advent Firesiders

Tradition and Today v (2013)

Call me curmudgeonly if you like, but I'm getting rather fed up with wassail and cakes and ale, six geese a-laying, Good King Wenceslas and all that sentimental twaddle. Of course there's a time for fun but have we lost the capacity to forge a genuine enjoyment from the materials we have to hand? I haven't yet heard a Christmas carol which mentions, looking at the preceding list, Christingle joy, Green and Black and chardonnay, goats for Africa or mountain rescue teams.

It's even worse if you celebrate Christmas in the tropics, with polystyrene snowmen and Father Christmases on the beach vapidly overseeing the consumption of turkey and stuffing, followed by Christmas pudding. Couldn't we invent Christmas mermaids and sailors to watch us eating a nice bit of lobster, followed by fresh pineapple?

The 'logic' seems to be that these ancient symbols, at home and abroad, bind us together, reminding us of an innocent age of Northern Hemisphere merry-making but perhaps the reason for the decline of the Christian Christmas is that we have consigned our frame of reference to the past and are not living Christ's birth and message in the present. So why don't we sweep the cakes and ale away, replaced by twiglets and chardonnay?