I am feeling particularly grinch-like right about now.
The proliferation of Christian imagery that is to be seen in society at this time bothers people who dont relate to it and I am disappointed that anything related to my faith bothers anyone else. I feel the same about that as I do about the stolen generations; that is that I have no personal responsibility for the issue but as part of the group which caused the offence I wish things were different.
I also have an enormous problem with the K mart wishing tree. People buy things (probably from K mart) and put them under the tree for an under privileged child and their motives are honorable but K mart or whichever retailer the gift is purchased from are raking in the profit from the good intentions of the populace, a populace who are already handing their hard earned to the retailers at an alarming rate. The gifts are not targeted, who knows whether there are more Barbie dolls given than girls to play with them (and yes, boys can play with Barbie if they wish but realistically most people wouldn't give Barbie to a boy) there may be too many gifts for 5 year olds and nowhere near enough for ten year olds. It's just a logistical nightmare which encourages waste.
Then there are the gift catalogues where you buy a goat in a developing nation and give a postcard featuring the goat to your intended gift recipient. Dont bother doing that for me, please! If you want to give me something for my own pleasure I will be very grateful to receive it and if you would rather give someone a goat by all means give them a goat but please dont give me the picture of the goat and pretend it's a gift for me because it's not. If you want to make a stand against the commercialism of the season I will support you all the way but giving pictures of goats (or chickens, toilets, taps or sewing machines) is the cowards way.
As a Christian it is a struggle to find a meaningful spiritual message for the season because it is so easy to get caught in the rush of parties and carolling and gift buying and turkey and ham and decorations......
So I am left with the question of how best to remember and celebrate the birth of history's greatest lover?
Reluctantly I have to say the first step would have to be giving up on the grinch.