And yes, there were a few Christmas trees around (in fact there were sixty trees in all) when they asked!
Their asking me questions has led me to ponder a number of things, each of them appearing here for you to join in and engage with along with me; for it seems that the way we treat Christmas might not be as joyful as perhaps the season might suggest. So here we go:
Tradition was that the tree didn't usually make it to the church building until something much nearer the end of Advent - some, like the lady I met tell me that Christmas Eve is indeed the right time - and this raises some real issues, for when we plonk Christmas trees in our church buildings the week before Advent, are we:
i. Celebrating Christmas and fitting in with the community and their take on Christmas?
ii. Seeking to capitalise on the current attitudes regarding Christmas by make some money out of it
wheresoever we can?
iii. Trying to bring Christmas back into the church building and by so doing regain some Christian
ownership of the whole shooting works?
There are three options here but I can think of other variants which might raise some eyebrows and challenge the way we do Christmas and more besides, but there's only so much you can do with a box of firelighters and some matches when you're sitting on a can of petrol, isn't there?
Whilst we are at it, are you one of those who subscribe to any of the three sentiments displayed below:
Are you someone who takes the opportunity each Christmas to correct those who are so obviously (in your opinion) wrong about what they say and how they celebrate it?
How do you deal with each of the three options above when you encounter them? Do you see the contraction of Christ into an 'X' as an abomination before the Lord?
Note: If you do then you'll be fighting a long line of people way back into the earliest days of the Christian Church for they loved that Christogram to bits and scribbled it, and fish, wherever and whenever the opportunity arose!
You may now turn over your papers :-)
There are a couple more questions but this will do for paper one.