Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

Counting down to Christmas

On Sunday a small girl told me that there were eleven sleeps until Christmas. It’s been a long time since I counted down to Christmas that way. Over the past week I’ve realised that I do still count down to Christmas, but now my counting is ticking things off a mental list of things to do. Today the list looks like this:

  1. Advent One – DONE!
  2. Final Kidz Unplugged session – DONE!
  3. Advent Workshop – DONE!
  4. Advent Two – DONE!
  5. Presentation Night and Service at Youth Group – DONE!
  6. Romsey Sunday School Service – DONE!
  7. Advent Three – DONE!
  8. Romsey/Lancefield Combined Churches’ Christmas Carols – DONE!
  9. Riddells Creek Carols by Candlelight
  10. Advent Four
  11. Blue Christmas Service
  12. Christmas Eve at Riddells Creek
  13. Christmas Eve at Mount Macedon
  14. Christmas Day at Mount Macedon
  15. Christmas Day at Lancefield

These are the Christmas events. In between them there have been the usual flotsam and jetsam of a minister’s life: a wedding; Presbytery Standing Committee; a Church Council meeting; a meeting with other interested parties about a hub for childhood services in Lancefield. Life is busy.

Which means that despite spending almost all my time doing Christmas-related activities, I’m not really ‘feeling’ Christmas. I don’t want to go back to counting down the sleeps until Santa comes, but I do want to feel a little different as Christmas approaches. I’d like to feel excited and anticipatory, rather than stressed and exhausted.

There are moments. When I lead services I get into a zone in which all my worries and stresses slip away and I feel fully present, to what I’m doing; to the congregation; to God. Sadly I spend much more time in busy preparation for services than I do in actual worship.

And despite the fact that I am Scrooge; that I hate the commercialisation of Christmas; that Christmas songs focused on Santa and presents with no mention of the incarnation makes my stomach clench – get me watching a choir from the local primary school decorated in tinsel sing “Aussie Jingle Bells” and I laugh and cheer and applaud as much as the next besotted adult.

I’m Scrooge. I need help to find the “true meaning of Christmas”. I hope I can in the midst of facilitating other people’s Christmases.


December 16, 2008 - Posted by | Ministry | ,


  1. Even Bethlehem (in Israel) has an ugly oversized, overlit, energy wasting christmas tree. Not the tree that worries me as much as the lights. Every year people waste huge amounts of electricity draping their houses with the most ridiculous looking light shows.
    OK rant over, and I’ll go back to looking for the spirit of christmas wherever I left it last. Hmmmm haven’t checked the couch yet…

    Comment by Pete | December 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. Did you see the debate in Sunday’s Age about ‘celebrating’ Christmas in Government schools? One teacher argued that ‘teaching’ Santa promotes literacy and etiquette (asking nicely for stuff in writing).

    You might like this:

    Comment by Olivia | December 20, 2008 | Reply

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