We live in a culture where we are always looking for the next big thing. Our attention span has waned. Our patience has thinned. We want something ‘fresh’, something ‘bigger’, something more ‘spectacular’. We want old things repackaged so that we can notice their value again. We want shiny buttons sewed onto old coats… or we just want to throw the coat away and keep the shiny buttons. We see this most overtly in the films that are being churned out of Hollywood at the moment. I was chatting to a friend the other day about a block buster film we had both seen. I had really enjoyed it but she said it was just too much: too much exploding and noise that went on and on and on. When I thought about it, what I really loved about the movie was the thin thread of storyline that ran through the movie but she was right, it got lost amidst all that spectacle. That is how I feel every year at Christmas. Take a look at the event we’re celebrating and the story that we tell about it. Why is that fantastic, revolutionary story not enough for us? Why do we have to dress it up with tinsel and mountains of gifts and endless hours of shopping and overeating? Why do we go into debt to buy things for people who already have enough? Don’t get me wrong, it should be celebrated with as much gusto as we have but I feel like somewhere we lost the plot. This is not a just festive holiday… this is the celebration of God reaching into the earth’s story and planting a massive plot twist right in the middle of history. A pivotal, unexpected point that has become a hinge in history: Before Christ, After Christ. That all by itself is AMAZING. Am I being a party-pooper? I hope not. This is the best reason in the world to party. But let’s not let the loud ‘xmas’ carols, elaborate trees and copious amounts of presents distract us from that thread of storyline that runs through this holiday. That thread is a lifeline and that is what we should celebrate.