...doesn't seem very Christmassy. There is a feature about this in today's Daily Telegraph. It misses the point, of course - the reason for the un-merry mood is not an incipient recession and people not spending enough in the shops (goodness know, there will still be a glut of rubbish bought and sold this Christmas), and it's not even the now-ritual debates about local authorities bowing to secularist pressure and refusing Christmas decorations on the grounds not "not offending minorities" etc etc. It's not even the daft healthnsafety regulations which have ensured the banning of Christmas lights and decorations.
It's the realisation that we have lost the essence of Christmas by marginalising our Christian faith.
I hurried about London today - to the Tower of London, of all places, to check on information for a group of Americans planning a trip there next summer, to an address in Earls Court to deliver a parcel, to the Post Office...and then to Westminster Cathedral. And there was the spirit of Christmas. An Advent wreath...an empty crib awaiting the figure of our baby Saviour, a tall evergreen alongside, scenting the air deliciously...extra rows of seats for a carol service...and long lines of chairs down the side aisle for the confession queue. And this last I joined, and the experience was beautiful and joyful. And then on to Victoria Station...but for that deserves its own Blog entry.