Alton Webteam: November 2016
Are we nearly there yet? It's an oft repeated phrase by young children on a long car journey! Sometimes time can seem to pass very slowly and perhaps you have a strategy for counting the days? My teacher friends tend to count how many more "get ups" until the end of term!
Advent is upon us and we begin to think again about the wonderful Christmas story. The excitement amongst children builds as those doors on the Advent Calendar are opened, the lines of the Christmas plays and songs are learnt, and letters to Father Christmas are written.
No matter what we think of them, Christmas Adverts on TV also build the anticipation! Often they paint a romanticised view of Christmas spent with happy families, surrounded by mountains of presents, food and drink. I always appreciate the ones that at least try to convey more than the getting and giving of material goods. I was particularly impressed by the spoof 2016 John Lewis advert by A level media studies student Nick Jablonka entitled "The Snowglobe"; you can watch it on Youtube. The snowman counts off the days on his calendar until he meets his snow girl on Christmas day, but then she is gone and he is alone again. The strapline is "Appreciate the moment"; so true!
The 2016 Sainsbury's advert is entitled "The Greatest Gift" and, when you get to the end of the song, "the greatest gift is me" and it's about sharing ourselves. A good sentiment, but of course we might beg to differ.
The truly Greatest Gift is that which God gives us — the gift of his son Jesus Christ and if we miss out on that — we've missed the point of Christmas!
However you count down, I pray that you will indeed have moments to appreciate as you share with family, friends or neighbours, and time to give thanks again for God's greatest gift; Jesus, Emmanuel God with us.
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