Yes, I know Jesus was not born in midwinter, the wise men turned up weeks after the birth and that it was a common thing for Mangers to double as cradles. No, there was no donkey and there was no snow and “no room at the inn” just means the spare bedroom was already taken.

Even worse, Christmas is a hybrid of Nordic and Roman Pagan festivities and nearly all the colourful bits and pieces from mulled wine to Christmas trees have a wiffy background.

Censorious legalists will have nothing to do with it. Quite right too. What’s the point of being a self-righteous prig if no one notices?

Real Christianity is something of a chameleon. It is not defined by cultural separation but by the strange entry of a new life into every believer. It subverts and transforms the blessed sinner from the inside out beginning with the miracle of regeneration, continuing in the discipline of repentance and ending in the Resurrection to come. A quiet beginning and thunderous fulfilment. Like a baby born in a Jerusalem suburb who will call all humanity to Judgement.

Societies are not so much overturned as subverted by joy and hope. There is not – and can not be – a true Christendom until The Kingdom of Christ comes in it’s fulness. So enjoy the party.

In the meantime, may the Father of Christ bless you in your celebrations rather than that sad old fraud, Father Christmas.

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