Hullo, Justin here,
Yes, I’ve seen them too, those ever-earlier references on television and in the press to Christmas. To be honest, my heart sinks when I think of the commercial traditions we all seem heir to. At the last count, I had nine electric shavers. I am not especially hirsute. My lady wife has at least 47 scarves.
This year I am determined to celebrate the birth of Christ with the things which really matter, although even these can be fraught with difficulty. Last year’s well-intentioned Christmas Soup Kitchen, manned (and womaned) by my lady wife, myself and the young man with the wire in his ear began well enough with a sizeable queue of people far less fortunate than you or I. Sadly, some were intoxicated. Several began cavorting in the road, singing questionable versions of well-known carols, like, I am ashamed to say, “Fart the Herald Angels”. Obviously, this attracted the attention of the Police, but before they could restore some sort of order, the young man with the wire in his ear vaulted the Soup Kitchen counter and set about the noisiest, most offensive culprits using what I can only imagine is his Special Training. He had incapacitated at least half a dozen when one spotted the young man’s side arm. “Ere!” shouted the drunken reveller, “E’s filth AND ‘e’s tooled up!”
What can only be described as panic set in with those less fortunate than you or I making off hither and yon clutching hunks of brown bread and paper cups full of a rather nice vegetable soup. The local Police were very understanding, all things considered, but we were left with at least three gallons of rather nice vegetable soup.
But as ever in this household, it was onward and upward and the local children's Nativity Play loomed. How or why life’s little upsets happen, I know not, but after a near-perfect start, fighting broke out between Joseph and at least three sheep, resulting in the collapse of the set and the Baby Jesus being propelled into the front row of the audience. Naturally, anxious parents sought to rescue their little ones. They were assisted in this regard by a visiting Ambulance crew and, embarrassingly, several of the Police officers who had witnessed the Soup Kitchen debacle.
I remember seeing, whilst escorting my hysterical lady wife back to our apartment, the Baby Jesus upside down on a hastily vacated chair. I scooped him up and took him home, where, upon the removal of his swaddling clothes, he turned out to be a plastic astronaut. Food for thought. Was/is God an astronaut? We shall never know. What I do know is that we must learn from our mistakes once we work out what they were.