Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ah, a festive tradition - a Christian belly-aching about Christmas losing its essential meaning. Cue a whole host of comments, some backing the author, some trotting out the old cliches about how Christmas is actually a pagan festival and so on, until Christmas is consigned to the dustbin as the festive season ends.

So has Christmas lost its meaning? No, no I don't think it has. But that is because I don't think that it has just the one meaning. It was once a pagan thing. And yeah, there is Christian content - hence Christ-mass. But it has come to be about other things as well for some - presents, family, food, drink. For some it is just about having a holiday. And for others still it is an annual chance to be a grouch. To a large extent, the meaning of Christmas is what you choose to make it.

Therefore, if you want to have a Christian Christmas, feel free to do so. Go to church. Sing carols. Celebrate the birth of Christ. But don't expect those who have a different interpretation of the meaning of Christmas to conform to your expectations of that holiday. I don't believe in God, and will not be spending this or any other Christmas feigning deference to your favoured myth.

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