Yesterday we went to Snape to see the Co-op Juniors Christmas Spectacular. Nearly 100 children and young people sung and danced their way through a variety of Christmas classics.
We’ve been for several years and have never been disappointed. The costumes were amazing, the standard of production and performance was exceptionally high, and the world famous Snape Maltings Concert Hall was the ideal setting.
The old Brenda Lee song ‘Rocking Around the Christmas Tree’ set me musing:
Rockin’ around the Christmas tree
Have a happy holiday
Everyone dancing merrily
In the new old fashioned way.
Growing up in post-war Britain we didn’t have much money, but we developed Christmas traditions… Church services with traditional Christmas carols, the box of Christmas decorations in the loft, the artificial Christmas tree with unreliable lights, Christmas stockings always containing a comic, satsuma and chocolate coins, presents in the rarely used ‘sitting room’, a new family board game…
Our new old fashioned way.
Our world’s changed; Christmas has changed with more presents and greater material expectations. ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ and ‘Frosty the Snowman’ have replaced ‘O Come all ye Faithful’ and ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’; folks expect happiness and celebration, glitz and glamour, excessive eating and drinking…
It’s a new old fashioned way.
I can bemoan the materialistic culture, the secularisation of a Christian festival, the mask of happiness often hiding a sad face, this year’s particular problems caused by unemployment, bereavement, or hardship…
Or I can create my new old fashioned way. Rocking around my Christmas tree I see:
… the evergreen tree of life, constancy, and growth… family and friendship… people more important than things…
…lights… speaking of clarity, truth and love… unchanging values that shine and light up my life… helping me to cope with and enjoy today.
…stars and angels… pointing to a greater reality beyond my small world… bringing hope and security to an unknown tomorrow.
This is my constantly renewed traditional old fashioned way.