The True Cost of Christmas


As the month turns to December, many of us begin to look at our bank balances and work out just how generous financial prudence allows us to be to our loved ones this Christmas.

In the spirit of calculating the cost of Christmas, CNN publishes the expense of putting on the 12 days of Christmas as outlined in the famous song. They reckon that the total cost of providing everything from a partridge in a pear tree to the lords-a-leaping would be 9,174. They highlight increases in salaries of maids-a-milking, drummers drumming, etc, as contributing to the increase in costs from last year, together with a massive increase in gold prices significantly affecting the purchase of the five gold rings.

We may not set out to furnish ourselves with all the items in the 12 days of Christmas song, but there is certainly a pressure within families and society to buy into this commercialisation of Christmas. One way in which we as a family have fought against this is by taking advantage of alternative gift schemes which allow you to donate gifts to the developing world on behalf of others.

Anything from a chicken to a school can be donated. The recipient of the present gets a card with a picture of the gift. This scheme also has the added benefit of avoiding the ‘hideous tie so kindly meant’ problem. If you are interested in this scheme, gifts or catalogues can be ordered online at . I shall also leave a number of catalogues at the rear of church if you would like to take one.

In the wider context the true cost of Christmas cannot be measured in pounds and pence. The true cost of Christmas takes us to a stable in Bethlehem and the birth of a perhaps unremarkable baby which would change the world forever. The birth of Jesus is God’s intervention in history. The forgiveness he offers is an open invitation to us all to accept and follow him.

The true cost of Christmas is a loving father in heaven who gave his son to be born a baby in a manger, to live and ultimately to die amongst us. Out Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

 Ralph Kemp


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