I find myself getting ratty at this time of year when there seems to be so much focus on Christmas. On the odd occasion I've ventured into Romford in the last fortnight I've come home grumbling about Christmas music being played in all the shops - the upside is I just try and avoid going shopping as much as possible.
I can never quite understand people who have all their presents bought and wrapped months in advance. It seems as though so many people rush through life always trying to get to the next event in advance and forget to enjoy the present time (no pun intended.) Christmas isn't until the 25th December; if we start celebrating Christmas two months in advance by the time it is actually Christmas we're fed up with it, the trees have lost their needles and the shine has gone off the season we should just be starting to celebrate. We also end up missing the season of Advent, a time of watching, waiting and anticipation.
I do however stop moaning when we make our annual collection for shoeboxes for operation christmas child. These need to be packed in advance so they can be delivered in time for Christmas.
During October as a church we have been wrapping boxes and collecting contents and today we spent time packing the boxes. A group of willing volunteers met in the hall and sustained by tea and cake packed and sorted 104 boxes which are now ready for collection.
We had loads of sweets to put in the boxes...
But fortunately we also had plenty toothbrushes and toothpaste!