Signs of Christmas

Random Christmas related items on the news:

Christmas lights… The Norwich Evening News reports on dad-of-three Mark Abbott, a 44-year-old dance school owner:

‘Mr Abbott has over 16,000 lights and counting in his display…”I’m using 59 sockets right now. Sometimes they give me a little shock but it’s mostly okay… There are 500 lights on each window, and 6,800 on the outline of the house. And there are 800 lights on the ground and 200 on each of the nine reindeer.”’

Santas… The BBC say that there’s a lack of Santas this year:

‘With fewer Santas donning their suits and more demand for holiday cheer, Santa will be in short supply. The pandemic took its toll on the industry as many Santas are older, heavier men. The company HireSanta said its demand has gone up 120 per cent since pre-pandemic times.’

Christmas parties… On last night’s news there was the debate about whether Christmas parties should or shouldn’t happen.

…Health experts saying we should be careful, scale down our celebrations, meet in smaller groups. …Pubs and hotels saying that they’ve had cancellations… Prime Minister Boris Johnson trying to allay our fears, saying that festive plans and work parties should go ahead.

From the lights and Santas and parties I return to the Christmas story…

Teenager Mary… Yesterday I was reading of teenage sex education in the United States… Abstinence? Responsibility and contraception?

‘In a study published in the June 2017 ‘Journal of Paediatrics’, researchers found that teen pregnancy rates are 40-50 percent higher than the national average in areas of Texas where abstinence-only education is the law.’

I think of Mary 2000 years ago… expecting to be a teenage bride… an angel says: ‘You will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus’… pregnancy… Bethlehem journey… virgin birth…

…Musing on the teenage girls I know with their joys, insecurities, charm, inexperience, youth, life just beginning… and I imagine it’s them…

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