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Christmas is Coming

It was both a privilege and a challenge to speak at all three Kerith meetings yesterday!
Those of you who were there will know that Simon and I spoke together about Christmas. Santa has already arrived at Harrods (!) so November 4th seemed far enough out to help us all make some good choices about how we're going to prepare for Christmas this year (or, as Simon saw it "Surviving Christmas"!)

We wanted to share very practically about how to keep Jesus at the centre of it all over Christmas - both during the run up, and in the actual Christmas period. So we explored what that might mean for each of us, at our different life stages in the areas of Finances, Feasting and Fun, Family and Friends, and Faith. I hope that we started some thoughts for you, that will turn into some conversations and decisions for you and your life.

In preparation, I'd asked lots of different people in Kerith so tell me what challenges and pressures they felt about Christmas, and also what they'd learned about preparing for surviving Christmas - thank you to all those who shared their thoughts with me - I know you'll also find their honest words helpful.
“There’s tension, and a pressure to not upset family members – deciding who to spend time with”
“I think, as hard as I try, I always feel some kind of pressure on the run up to Christmas”

“I have learnt that the pressure I put myself under is all down to me and MY expectations of how Christmas should be, based on how it's always been throughout my childhood”

“As much as I would love to get a lot of presents for my children, I know that it is increasingly difficult each year, so I have to learn to let go of preconceived ideas about Christmas, and realise that just the fact that we will all be together (I know it's a cliche, but it's true) and that we will have food and fun time together, and a few small gifts, is enough.
The real gifts are the bonds of love, family and friends, and God at the centre of it all, and these will always far exceed anything materialistic. Even if I begin to feel stressed about it, I will focus on what is truly important, and let go of the anxieties that surround this time of year, let go of all of the expectations, which really are just coming from me, and enjoy the season for all that it will bring.”
“It is very easy to get caught up in all this consumerism, but just don't buy into it, get the food that you need, the gifts you can afford, and shut out all of the hype going on out there and remember what life and Christmas are all about!”

"Having fun at Christmas for us is how I have described, being with the people that matter, remembering that Christ is the key to our celebrations.”

“When grown up children return to our home, they are “off duty””
It’s difficult with your family in another country, we try our best, with making skype calls to them at Christmas. In my home country, Christmas isn’t about the gifts, its about the occasion. But being here, we just get sucked into it”

I think your family & kids would rather have time with you & not have to deal with you being too busy, stressed & grumpy!”




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