A very dear friend of mine wrote eloquently in a Facebook post yesterday of the anxieties that Christmas brings to her and her family:
“I like Christmas. But what I see for my kids at this time of year is so much unhappiness. So much tears and crying and upset. I think there may be an element of the fact that it's dark and lots of snotty colds and stuff. But I call it 'the big Christmas wind up' cos the schools, all the adults they meet, the clubs, adverts, magazines...everything...are talking about Santa and presents and what they're gonna 'get'. And my kids just can't handle it. It's too much for them. And then we adults tell them that they have to behave or they won't get any presents!!!!!!”
Now, I’m no Scrooge and I enjoy Christmas as much as the next person, however, this post really got me thinking and, in particular, thinking about our message here at Craigclowan. Do we get it right or are we guilty of the ‘big wind-up’?
There is no doubt, as anyone who has stepped over the threshold recently would attest to, that Christmas has well and truly arrived at Craigclowan. The lovely Christmas Fayre last Saturday gave me a head-start with my Christmas shopping and then on Wednesday Form 6C presented to us their Christmas assembly. They told us about the meaning of advent then shared what they would like to find behind the doors of their dream advent calendar this Christmas…and what delighted me was that there wasn’t an X-box or iPad mentioned. What they most wanted to see were dogs, Grannies and family. I was then absolutely thrilled to visit Form 2 on Thursday to see their decorated classrooms. There was very little in the way of tinsel and flashing lights but just beautiful pictures and designs produced by the children themselves (not to mention my first ever sighting of a knitted Nativity scene – yes, you read that right, a knitted Nativity scene)! To complete the week, this morning we were visited by Avril Duncan, the grandmother of one of our pupils, who told us about the children’s home in India that she and some friends support. I think most of the children and staff will have left the room knowing only too well how lucky we are already without having to ask for more this Christmas.
So on balance, I think we do get it more or less right. The celebrations that we have bring huge joy and few tears and the message that our young people are getting seems to be the right balance of giving and getting. And if your children do come home once or twice over the next two weeks just a little bit over-excited…please forgive us!
“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
From The Grinch
John F Gilmour