I’m in Invercargill for Christmas.  It’s my usual practice.  There are family reasons to be down here.  My mother is in her eighties and is the last of her generation.  It will be my practice to share Christmas with her for a while yet.

I travelled down with my friend Southern Dave.  On the way we passed a couple of signs admonishing us to Remember Christ At Christmas.  Thank you, I will.  I’m happy to honour the Nativity of Christ as part of my religious practice.  I will also exchange gifts, enjoy family, and indulge in the catering that is also part of Christmas celebrations.  These acts are not a religious obligation.  They are part of the fun.  Remembering Christ is one voice among many in the Christmas season.

It must be because Christ is part of the name that we are expected to Remember Christ At Christmas.  There is no admonition to Remember Christ At Easter.  If the Christian movement begins with the death and resurrection then this observance is more important than remembering the entrance of the Christ Child.  Likewise no one puts up signs to Remember Christ At Pentecost, or on Anzac Day, or Remembrance Sunday.  The observance of commemorating our ancestor spirits who died in war is observed with the trappings of Christian liturgy if not the substance.  Should we Remember Christ at Yule-tide?  It loses the assonance.

Never mind.  It is Christmas, a festival of light in mid-summer, celebrated with the symbols of winter in our upside down southern hemisphere observance, complete with the winter father figure who is our gift-giver.  Have you been good?  Merry Eczemas!  May the probabilities favour you.

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