Holy holiday ... or a commercial chaos

WITH just three ‘sleeps’ to go until Christmas, many Borders households will find themselves in that familiar chaotic build-up to the big day – getting far too much food ready, buying expensive last-minute presents and trying not to get too stressed by the whole thing.

And every year, we hear the same familiar complaint: Christmas is far too commercialised.

But who has permitted that? Sure, we can point the finger at big retailers and rolling television advertising which seems to start earlier and earlier every year, but in the end we only have ourselves to blame if we feel we have lost touch with the true meaning of Christmas.

We yearn for the Christmases depicted in books such as Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol or movies like It’s a Wonderful Life.

Yet the true meaning of Christmas, which underpins these and other literary and cinematic imaginings of what Yuletide should be, is easily within everyone’s grasp and, most importantly, comes without a pricetag.

For even if you are not overtly religious or are a person of no religious belief whatsoever, surely all can take to heart the admonition in the description of the Nativity contained in the Book of Luke: “... and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

And yet there is also nothing wrong either in the giving of gifts. Exchanging presents is a very human trait and one that has existed throughout our existence.

The unique ability to imagine the pleasure another will gain from our giving of a gift.

After all, the story of the three wise men who come bearing gifts is an integral part of the Nativity tale.

So, wherever you are and however you choose to celebrate Christmas, we wish you peace and joy.