Got a message from my mum yesterday saying: "your sister wants to know what you want for Christmas, can you draw up a list?"
Fair enough message but has raised a number of questions in my mind:
1) Why did she get all the planning skills when it comes to these things. I have been to five weddings this year, have remembered zero cards (oh no, one card), zero presents (sorry!), and have only replied cos they let you do it on email. I have an average of 20% active birthday remembrance and have generally been a bit shambolic!
2) Should I feel guilty about buying my presents for people on Christmas eve? I figure it means I have thought about what to buy for longer!!!
3) Why not surprise people with presents that they hadn't asked for?
I must drive my family mad- when I dropped in on my parents the other day the smell of cooking Christmas cake was wafting out of the door.. My sister has phoned already to collude about what Santa might bring my niece.. They know where we are having Christmas and probably who is cooking what (I don't get asked to cook,I think its assumed I wil forget!)..
But at the same time I want to defend my corner- that actually the whole Christmas thing is a celebration of God showing up and being incarnate in the midst of disorganisation and chaos. That where the Romans were trying to impose order in taking a census, a teenage kid and her boyfriend ride into town, try and find a youth hostel and just happen to bring God into the world.
Angels cruise in and tell the locals what is going on, who grab what they can and come to worship. Even the 'wise men' are spontaneous: following a hunch that where the star is they will find something worth visiting.
Hmmm.. On reflection I think I like my version of Christmas.