Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Reflections on a pair of antlers.

This time last year, I noticed a car with those artificial reindeer antlers, complete with a red nose a lá Rudolph.

(Note:  The image here is taken from the 'net, and not from the actual car I saw.)
My initial reaction was to enjoy the festivity of the car's owner, and the fact that here was someone who, I thought, went the extra mile in celebrating Christmas. 
My sense of festivity and enjoyment vanished when I saw the bumper sticker on the rear of the car, a sticker used by some people on the far right here in Australia to indicate their hostility to refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants.  The bumper sticker read:   "Eff off, we're full."  (... No, that wasn't the exact quote on the sticker.  ...  Yes, I know the actual word, and I've been known to use it myself when sufficiently annoyed.  ...  Nevertheless, I am trying to maintain some level of high standards in my blog.)
My reaction was to think, "Mate, you don't really 'get' Christmas.  However much you'll max out your credit cards in December, and however drunk you plan to get on the 25th, you're not really celebrating Christmas.  With that bumper sticker, dude, you're not even celebrating Xmas."
There is a real clash in values between the celebration of Christmas and the message of "Eff off, we're full."
Whether your Christmas is about Jesus or about Santa Claus, or about some Dickensian middle way, Christmas is about joyful generosity.
Whether your Christmas is about events in Bethlehem or at the North Pole (or both), Christmas is about extravagant compassion.
Whether your three-word slogan this time of year is "Peace on Earth" or "Ho! Ho! Ho!" (or both), Christmas is about universal hospitality.
There's just no room in the Christmas inn for the notion of "Eff off, we're full."
Anyway, to all who read this post, have a blessed Christ-Mass, a merry Christmas, and (just to annoy the folks at Fox "News") some Happy Holidays.

And, if you'd like some of my reflections on Advent and Christmas sitting on your bookshelf as well as on your computer, you may want to buy my book  Christmas Lost and Christmas Regained from Amazon.


Constructive comments, from a diversity of viewpoints, are always welcome. I reserve the right to choose which comments will be printed. I'm happy to post opinions differing from mine. Courtesy, an ecumenical attitude, and a willingness to give your name always help. A sense of humour is a definite "plus", as well.