Tinsel is beginning to make its appearance in shops. Christmas ‘bargains’ are leaping to the fore on TV and in print catalogues. Santa has arrived, this year at Adelaide Oval, and it's once again that time - time to start thinking about Christmas. Lunch is at whose place this year? What's a suitable present for Auntie Joan?
Although our behaviours are likely to be affected by COVID-19 limitations, including its impacts on many family budgets, evidence from last year suggests that the average Australian spend on Christmas presents is $386, over a quarter of which (28%) will be on credit. Australians are expected to give an average $41 to charities at this time of year. Which looks promising, but we will also spend $40 on decorations!! And where will they end up the week after Christmas?
How about approaching it differently this year? Spare the hassle and consumerism. Take it back to the story of a wandering couple unable to find accommodation in their home city, it being late in her pregnancy, and having to accept the offer of bunking down with the animals in the stable. In the spirit of that humble and needy story, perhaps we should seek to mark this Christmas in simplicity and joy. We’re considering this in Chapel at the moment.
Both the Uniting Church and the combined national Churches body make gift cards for a donation given somewhere in our world in lieu of needless plastic and foods. You can find out more information about them at: www.unitingworld.org.au and gifts.actforpeace.org.au.
‘Tis the Season to be … meaningful?
Rev Phil Hoffmann