title="Baldons Parish Council in Oxfordshire">

From the Vicar December 2022

From Rev Teresa Stewart-Sykes

As I write the sun is streaming through the Vicarage study windows, the temperature outside is a balmy 17 degrees and you wouldn’t believe there are only seven weeks until Christmas Day! However, when I walk around the shops and supermarkets, I’m made to feel completely unprepared for the festive season! All the Christmas goodies are on display and Christmas tunes are playing cheerfully in the background subliminally encouraging me to buy, buy, buy!

In truth I’m a bit of a ‘bah-humbug’ at this time of year. I struggle with the dark nights and mornings and all the razzamatazz of Christmas making me feel I should be jolly when really I want to crawl under the duvet! I’m sure I’m not alone in this. November is an odd month, a bit of a poor relation to spectacular December with its Christmas lights, it’s parties and the BIG DAY itself!

The one thing November has going for it is the big reveal of all the Christmas adverts on TV- don’t we just love looking forward them! The lavish minute and a half of feel good music, the story that tugs at the heart strings or which reminds us of all the good things we could have in our lives.

It made me ponder the very first Christmas ‘advert’, the oral tradition of the nativity story, told to families and communities gathered in homes and churches long before it was written down and published in the form of the Bible. In this Christmas advert you have the migrant Holy Family, looking for shelter in a busy city; the worries of Mary and Joseph; the strangers who come with smiles and wonder and gifts; the angel choirs singing quietly joyful songs and finally the happy ending, a baby and a family full of hope for the future.

These elements are all reflected in the Christmas adverts you will see on TV this year, from the M&S strapline ‘Gifts that give’, the Boot’s ‘Bring joy to all this Christmas’ to the John Lewis advert on a theme of loneliness and the happy ending of the kitten sharing Christmas lunch.

In the dark winter months we are all living through, I hope you will be able to hear again the Christmas story and be encouraged by its message of hope. And as you enjoy the Christmas adverts on your TVs, see if you can look beneath the commercialism and discover the ancient truths of generosity of heart, faithful companionship, and hope for the future.

I wish you all a very blessed Christmas


Rev Teresa