Sunday, September 18, 2005

100 Shopping Days to Go

We are still practically an entire financial quarter away from Christmas, yet what do I chance upon in my visit to the local supermarket?

As you can see from the photo below, the madness has started already. Christmas is becoming increasingly commercial... this is nothing new, I accept; however, putting selection boxes out this early is inane. Chocolate is not the sort of present you need to put a lot of thought in to getting... so why are confectioners always the ones who jump in first? Come Christmas Eve, nobody is going to be saying "Oh no! It's nearly Christmas and I haven't got little Johnny his Cadbury selection box. All the shops have run out!" There is always a surplus left over, that's why chocolate is always going cheap in the sales. So clearly thy don't have to be so quick off the mark.

It isn't just Christmas either, I guarantee you before the end of January that in the shops around me, Easter eggs will already be creeping in... at first in the subtle form of the humble creme egg,but later the great big Mork space capsule sized ones!!!!

"Oooh! Ahhh! That's how it always starts. Then later there's running and screaming!"

I hear a lot of people say they can't be doing with Christmas these days, they find it more hassle than they think it's worth. I've never met a true Christian who tires of Christmas. The fact that at that time we celebrate Christ's birth (although that's not biblically accurate), I believe helps us to appreciate the other things all the more. I never tire of meeting old friends and catching up, the hassle is worth it.

In the politically correct modern age, there is increasing pressure to muscle Jesus out of the festivities. Last year, Red Cross shops disallowed nativity scenes in their windows... Birmingham and Solihull had "Winterval" uinstead of Christmas. It was a celebration that included Chanuka and Divali. Yet, it always seems to be the councils and social workers who have a problem with Christianity... not ethnic minorities. In fact most other religious groups recognise the importance of teaching Christianity to our young. To our shame, they recognise the importance belief plays in shaping us as individuals and stand up for US, while we stand idly by. I have heard a strong argument that suggests that the reason so many young white people have become so violent and self destructive, is because they have no clear sense of cultural heritage and identity.

Whether that's true or not (there are many contributing factors besides, I am sure), there is no reason to discriminate against Christianity in secular education. Either you cover no religion, or you cover them all. Personally I'm all for sending children to church schools myself.

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