Getting ready for Christmas


Christmas must be coming soon. I was shopping in a winter wonderland on Saturday and the sound of Christmas carols was filling the air. I’m loving the new John Lewis Christmas advert and I can’t seem to get “Holidays are coming” out of my head. I’m not sure how I’ll survive without Downtown Abbey until the Christmas special but, then again, Strictly looks like it’s going to excel itself this year. X-factor’s not bad either, I suppose, and there’s still I’m a Celebrity to come.


We’ve already ordered our turkey and trimmings and a little bit extra… just in case we get the odd visitor or two (well, you’ve not met my family and friends, have you!). We’re starting to think about some of the special gatherings that we’ll have over the holiday period and how we’re going to fit in seeing the next instalment of the Hobbit. And there’s the pantomime outing (I think it’s Peter Pan this year), the church Christmas lunch, the church Christmas carol service, the office party (hope that I can get out of it though!), Kate’s birthday (note to self – must buy 2 presents, joint Christmas and birthday present is asking for trouble!) and the family Christmas dip event (please don’t let me get “the awkward one” this year.). Oh and let’s not forget… we’ve got to schedule a meal out at a nice restaurant, as well. 


The lists have started – the Christmas card list (it’s really 4 lists – 1. our nearest & dearest family & friends… the “good” card list, A5 or bigger, sturdy envelope, individually selected! 2. Other good friends… still get a card that has been “thought about”, might just go for an A6 size. Well, there has been a recession!  3. Acquaintance’s list – work colleagues, other church members, the window cleaner, etc… definitely from the “cheap as chips” multipack. 4. In case they give me a card list – always good to keep a few handy…) the Christmas card shopping list, the Christmas present list, the Christmas present shopping list, the Christmas party outfit shopping list, the guest list for Christmas dinner and the special little soiree in between Christmas and New Year. And let’s not forget about my own Santa’s letter – it’s always good to have a few ideas and to drop a few hints in the right places!


I need to schedule some time to research gifts and stuff! There are volumes of Christmas catalogues to digest – let’s be honest, I study these mostly to see what I would like and usually revert to the standard chocolates, wine, books, socks, etc. for everyone else. My inbox is starting to fill up with some very tasty seasonal offers… and lots of ideas for Christmas presents, which I’m loathe to delete, just in case… well you never know, I might need to be more explicit with one or two folk (who might struggle getting me what I really want) and forward an email or two.


But, I do need to schedule time for doing the present shopping (one or two internet shopping sessions and I’ll probably need a couple of outings), wrapping the presents, delivering the presents and picking up the turkey, which, of course, will be a different time to doing the big Christmas shop! Will it be Asda or Tesco or Sainsbury’s or Marks & Sparks this year or could it be a bit of everything?


Most importantly, I need to schedule time for reviewing the Christmas Radio Times, circling all the programmes and films that I want to watch and then setting the Sky+ box. That’s a big job and must be done with ruthless selfishness!


Of course, of course, I almost forgot… the tree and the decorations. Yes, it’s just got to be a real one and I need to update the lights this Christmas – that’ll be an outing on its own! Candles, yes candles, with a Christmas aroma – they’re simply an essential item nowadays if you want to have an authentic Christmas.  

Oh and there’s that annual dilemma of which special Christmas biscuits to buy, for guests… of course! You want something with a good chunk of chocolate on them.


My goodness, this Christmas is going to be busier than ever. I better get started!


Will this be your experience this Christmas?


If so, remember that this is a time when you can aim to live out the first and second Greatest Commandments  – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.’ Mark 12:30-31


1)      Read Luke Chapter 1 and Chapter 2:1-21… remember that God became man for me and you. Make the most of him this Christmas.


2)      Consider your neighbours in the Philippines this year – if you haven’t given yet, please do.

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