Monday, 28 November 2011
The boy and I were reflecting again recently on how much our culture in Britain has been steeped in Christianity - how it has permeated everyone's cultural consciousness to the point that we no longer notice. It was brought home to us most recently when we tried to expose some Malaysians to Monty Python by showing them Life of Brian. It wasn't the weird humour which went over their heads - it was the whole 'Brian is a bit like Jesus lols' thing. It had just never occurred to us that anyone would be so unfamiliar with the New Testament as to go 'oh, so that's the three wise men is it? oh yeah...'
Christmastime for obvious reasons is another one of these cultural events with a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle Jesus in there to trip the unwary. But sometimes the Jesusy bits are the best bits. The above photo is an Advent wreath - the candles are supposed to symbolise key virtues or people, depending on tradition, and are lit one per Sunday in December counting down to Christmas. Lovely. Trust the Germans to invent a way of celebrating the birth of Our Lord which involves setting things on fire for an extended period of time.
I've never made an Advent wreath, and we don't have room for one in either of my current residences really, but I am beginning to count the days in my own way. The present-buying has started, and I am starting to think about the number of biscuits and cakes I should make this year, and what kinds. I never got round to posting my christmas cake recipe last year, but I have some good ideas for 2011 already.
I'm looking forward to spending this festive season at home with my family, for the first time in some years. We're big biscuit-eaters and present-appreciators, and there will be viewing of Muppet DVDs and old friends and emphatically not turkey to eat. Bliss. Now all we need is a little snow (and accompanying bucket of grit).