Friday, 2 December 2011


N.B. All of the following 23 blogs are because I am reading ‘Do Nothing, Christmas Is Coming’ by Stephen Cottrell, ‘an advent calendar with a difference.’

Why is it that everyone expects everything to be okay at Christmas? And that people spend so much time buying presents for the people they love rather than just spending all time they waste down the shops with them?

Why do so many people wonder why young people act so spoilt, selfish and individualistic when the adults of the previous generation act the same way? Spending money that you can’t afford on an expensive all-you-can-dream-of-gadget-phone because you’ve lied to yourself so much that you believe that you really need it and then not putting a single penny in the offering plate at church because you ‘can’t afford it’ is no less selfish.

No you don’t ‘need’ that 60-inch plasma screen TV, no you don’t ‘need’ that brand new car while the old one still works, nor that touch screen tablet computer, nor that £120 pair of trainers that were probably made by small child slaves… did you know that there are kids starving in the world? In fact, did you know that there’s probably a homeless guy sleeping not that far from where you’re reading this right now? Did you know there’s probably someone sitting near you in church worrying about how they are going to afford the rent this Christmas? If only we were all capable of opening our eyes and looking further than our own interests.

I’m not saying this because I’ve got it all sorted. I’m just more aware of how much of a hypocrite I am. I’m aware that there is major problems with the way I live my life compared to the way I should be living it. And I get frustrated when I look around at all the ‘Christians’ in churches who don’t seem to be aware of the issues, who appear to be able to sleep soundly at night, apparently content with their input in God’s wonderful plan for the world. That’s nice for them. But I’d rather live in the truth, knowing the suffering and striving to do something about it, than to sleep soundly in ignorance my whole life.

I’ve asked not to receive presents this year. And apparently that annoys some people. I’m not trying to be ungrateful. I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate the sentiment. I am just trying to learn how to live with less stuff this year, and it’s hard to do that when I am receiving a pile of gifts at Christmas. If anyone reading this is really desperate to get me a gift this year, buy me a book. There are hundreds of books I am dying to read, to help me to understand God, love and life better. Check out my Amazon wishlist.

Anyway, back to the book: DNCIC:

  • Give everyone the same thing. Choose one book that you love and buy everyone a copy.
  • Instead of spending a fortune at the shops – let alone the time and hassle – make everyone a jar of marmalade, or pick some onions. This could all be done in one evening.
  • Agree with your family and friends that you will all buy and receive one present with an agreed price limit.
  • Buy everyone a present from charities such as Christian Aid or Oxfam and help the world in the process. Contact or And there are lots of other charities that offer ways of giving presents that help others.
Please note: Christmas has been cancelled this year. Apparently you told Santa you have been good this year. He died laughing.” Anonymous.
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