Saturday, 12 December 2009

The other CAMRA

We had a knock on the door on Thursday evening.  It was the Wantage Silver Band playing carols.  We had a couple of verses of While shepherds watched and then a burst of Deck the halls with boughs of holly.  It was pleasant having carols played live, rather than the canned musac type you hear so much.   The trouble is with double-glazing you couldn't hear the carols; so we kept the door open while they were in the close.  

We've not decked our hall yet for a good reason.  When I worked on BBC Radio Oxford (actually I did a student attachment there during my ordination training, to be honest), the Sunday morning breakfast show ran a Campaign for a real Advent (CAMRA...).  The point of course was to stem the tide of celebrating Christmas too soon.  It was a bit like Canute, but I appreciate the sentiment.  Of course it's especially hard when schools break up and naturally want to have carol services and nativity plays for their children.  Not all do, of course - choosing instead to go down the politically perverse Winter Festival route.  I'm glad that my grandchildren have had the opportunity to be an angel and even Mary at a school which definitely hasn't taken Christ out of Christmas.  I heard of another production which included a policeman and a penguin.  I have a feeling it wasn't about the nativity.  Personally I think the waiting (and even some discipline) leading up to Christmas adds to the celebration, and when I was a vicar tried to keep carol services as near the day as was feasible.

Breaking my Advent fast, however, I enjoyed reading these top 3 classic kids' quotes from the school Christmas concert tonight regarding "what Christmas means to me": 1) "Christmas is not just about's about having fun as well!" 2)"I wake up early on Christmas morning and fill the house with Joy. Then I wake up mum and dad." 3) "I drink some Schloer. It tastes fizzy. That's what Christmas means to me!"  Thanks, Ellie.


  1. Agree with your comments about Advent. When I collected my 'Church Times' from the paper shop this morning I was somewhat taken aback to see the Easter eggs and bunnies on the counter!

  2. Can't work out how I've just got my comment as Anonymous! I shouldn't be let loose with anything technical, even the church microphone hates me.

  3. Easter!!! There IS a theological connection, I suppose. The homeless baby is now the risen King of glory - which is amazing! - but somehow I doubt whether your newsagent was thinking of that when he ordered them.

    Hope your carol singing at Wheatcrofts yesterday went well. Great idea - good news on the streets.

    Have a peaceful and joyful Christmas, Pat. And don't worry about church technology - delegate it to a technofreak (one of the spiritual gifts - St Paul called it administration).

  4. Then you would remember that "Christmas begins at Aldens!!"