Sunday, 5 December 2010

Can Christmas Get Any Better?

You know the saying 'if Mohammed cant go to the mountain...'* Well, if there isn't a GKC Christmas Party (see my last post), then it is a duty of every red blooded Catholic to create one in the bosom of his own home!

Let's think of the ingredients we need:
1. Good food (that should be a given anyway, surely in a good - or bad - Catholic household). Funnily enough I was watching Fern Britton interview Clarissa Dickson Wright about her life and the Two Fat Ladies, and how they, her and Jennifer Paterson, were Catholics, went to Mass when filming, had to have the Saints Days on the scripts - if you get a chance watch it on iplayer. I was surprised to see such a moving, heartwarming programme which gave a positive light to our Faith.

Anyway, good food abounds at Christmas (following our shriving at Advent- a local retired Bishop often says that in Welsh, Advent was known as Winter Lent, i.e. a time of preparation for the Feast of Christmas). If between meals always have a stash of pork pies handy in the fridge. 

2. A wee tipple. You can toast the great man with a wee dram or perchance a healthy glass of Brains SA. If you are unfortunate enough to live outside Wales, then see your local ale specialist about procuring supplies of Brains SA, it really will be worth your while.

3. Put Christ back in Christmas. With the growing secularisation of our society (which GKC warned about 100 years ago) many people bemoan the taking of Christ from celebrations. The most extreme example was Birmingham's "Winterval."  As well as sending out cards with the Holy Family on, make sure your home has a Nativity Scene and, where possible, your Christmas decorations (and Advent calendars) have a Christian flavour.

4. And don't forget GKC. Read a little (or a lot!) of the great man at Christmas. Maybe a novel (try The Flying Inn) or a poem (try The Battle of Lepanto) or why not even go the whole hog and try a book (try the Everlasting Man). According to the Wikipedia page on the book:
In a letter to Sheldon Vanauken (December 14, 1950) [1] [C.S.] Lewis calls the book "the best popular apologetic I know," and to Rhonda Bodle he wrote (December 31, 1947) [2] "the [very] best popular defence of the full Christian position I know is G. K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man."
5. Make sure Christian Carols are sung, played, in short are present in your home. Some favourites include Hark the Herald Angels Sing, O Holy Night, Silent Night, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Oh Come All Ye Faithful/Adeste Fidelis, The First Noel, Joy to the World, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen... All of which place the Infant Christ at the centre of Christmas.

6. Don't forget Confession during Advent, and Mass throughout of course. All the celebrations, quaffing etc. lead to Christmas Mass and the remembrance that the infant Christ went on to give us the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Follow these 6 steps and you too can have a Happy, Holy, Wise, Merry and Joyful Christmas.

*Not being a Muslim it was a moot point whether to use a heathen quote, but I once asked a Mohammedan at an eatery in Brick Lane if he knew of this quote, and he responded that despite studying the Koran he had never heard of it. That's my get out clause anyway.

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