When I first saw this news story I wasn’t too sure what to think; I’m really in two minds about it. My first reaction is simply that I hate to see Christmas being commercialised and exploited earlier and earlier each year. I’ve said on this blog many times in the past I do think it’s important to celebrate the seasons and festivals in their natural order. For me that means Christmas planning and shopping shouldn’t start until after All Hallows Eve (Halloween). Is there anything worse than seeing Christmas trees and scary masks in supermarkets at the same time?
Given a few days to reflect on this I’m a little more positive about it. Many people will visit this shop while they are on holiday. The origin of ‘holiday’ is ‘holy’ ‘day’ and for centuries people have wanted to bring back relics or reminders of their little pilgrimages.
Have you ever tried to buy a really good quality nativity set? In my opinion it’s the sort of thing that you should only ever have to buy once and you’ll care for it and bring it out each year. I love exploring the great cathedrals as I travel around the UK and usually pass through their gift shops if only out of curiosity. Many of them have the same plastic bits and pieces and the usual collection of pens, tea-towels and calendars. If this shop is a little more ambitious and is selling quality Christmas goods with a clear Christian connection then that’s not a bad thing. If you’ve ever been a godparent then you’ll know that you are responsible for the child’s religious education. I would say then that bringing home from holiday something for your own home or your godson/goddaughter that you can talk about and that they can bring out at Christmas is actually a good thing.