Christmas (yes… that’s right… no X!)

7 12 2009

Thanks to the lovely Helen (catch up with her at blogging yesterday about Christmas, I thought I’d take the chance to add my own thoughts on the matter.

Growing up, I flitted in and out of the whole Christian thing. We went to Church once a month (nice little CofE type job), I enjoyed the family service (they had puppets!), and even played flute in the Church band. Yet I was never really sure where I stood on the whole God thing. Now, I felt that there was somethingmore to life, but the concrete ‘facts’ of Jesus being the son of God, and that he died for us eetc etc…. well, it just felt a bit too much to have to accept to get ‘on board’ with a  religion.

Unlike many who are disillusions about religion, I definitely see the good in it all. I see the amazing people I’ve met through churches, and been given so much inspiration by them. I was actually coming round to the idea, and was trying to live my life in a way I hoped God might be pleased with.

It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to go to Africa, and last year, for the first time, I actually made it there. I had an amazing time, and found myself living with a local family in Malawi, who happened to be Christian. Not surprising, as everyone is very religious in Malawi. However, I felt uncomfortable being asked to go to their church, and even more uncomfortable watching TV with them.

The context is important. The lady I lived with worked at a medical centre. A non-denomination/non-religious medical centre. Yet every night, they watched a man on the TV claiming that God could use him to cure people of HIV. I still find this hard to swallow. It makes me angry, yet at the same time, I can begin to understand it. Faced with a choice between placing hope in a medical profession who say they can’t cure a disease, and a random bloke who says he can, which would you choose?

So I face Christmas now with a confusion. I love the family, fun, happiness, joy, kindness that comes with Christmas. But I no longer know what to believe about whether I want to celebrate it as the birth of Jesus. I’m not really sure if that adds anything more, at least to me at this point in my life.

I hope to see this winter time as a chance to practice “random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty”. I hope I can encourage you to do the same.

Here’s a list of fun stuff to get you started:

  1. Buy a bunch of cheap flowers and hand them to a complete stranger
  2. Donate money to a stranger’s cause online (try
  3. Leave a book on a park bench for someone else to enjoy (register it at
  4. Pay for the person behind you’s coffee
  5. Leave 20p in a phone box
  6. Smile at everyone you meet today
  7. Buy a box of choccy biccys for another department at work
  8. Call your nan, mum, friend you haven’t seen for ages
  9. Say hi to a neighbour and give them your number for when they need it
  10. Donate your change to charity

There are tons more, just waiting to be discovered. I’ll post more ideas. Please tell me your RaoK stories! They’re always fun!





2 responses

7 12 2009

Jo what a lovely post. I am very on-board with the RAOK movement. The world would be such a nice place if everyone, just once a day, did something for someone else. It doesn’t even have to involve money. Ask lost looking people if they need help with directions, offer to help friends or colleagues with their christmas shopping on-line if you are more internet savvy than they are, remind people of nice memories – as everyone needs a smile.

x x

7 12 2009

Aww, thanks Surzy!
Yup – I think that should be our aim this Christmas-time, to make the world that tiny bit better for an individual……. if we all do this every day….. wow…. 🙂 Definitely something I’m thinking about this week.

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