She's young, she's innocent, she's growing up in our dirty old world. And she's wondering what the hell is going on. This is how the world looks through the eyes of a child.
I’m praying to you but I don’t know who you are. My grandparents used to pray to God, but now lots of people say there is no such person and anyone who’s religious is just imagining it. And other people say there is, but not the one that Christians call God, the one who had a son called Jesus. They have other names for their god. Whatever, this is what’s on my mind this week.
Am I allowed to wish everyone a merry Christmas? Well I’m going to anyway, because I don’t see anything wrong with it. So only Christians think of it as Jesus’s birthday – that doesn’t matter. Everybody in so-called ‘Christian countries’ takes the day off on 25 December and it is our tradition to exchange presents and have a big meal with the family.
People who actually go to church, like my family does, are becoming rarer, but we’re not freaks. And there will be millions of people sitting around dining tables this Christmas who don’t see it as a religious thing at all.
Maybe it isn’t, anymore. Maybe it’s just a time when everybody tries to be better than they usually are – nicer to people and more grateful for what we’ve got. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be too poor to have food on the table – or even a table to put the food on – but there are unfortunate folks like that. There’s an old song that gets rereleased every December, talking about starving people in Africa who don’t have things that we take for granted.
When we sing along with this, who are we thinking about? Are we thinking about people who deserve to have a nice Christmas because they believe in what we believe in, or are we thinking about everyone? Personally, I’m thinking about everyone.
They don’t have to come to church with us. They don’t have to sing only Christmas carols that don’t have any religious content (Good King Wenceslas, for instance – nothing about Jesus or Mary in that one, it’s just an atmosphere).
So, everyone: have a merry Christmas. Just because it’s a chance to think about forgetting our differences and starting again.