I’ve recently come across this stuff - a plastic which softens in hot water and then can be moulded. It’s been selling at a reasonable price for some time. Then this year another company renamed it, repackaged it and is selling it at more than double the price. And though the cheaper brand is still available, people are buying the expensive stuff. What’s going on?
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. More tellingly however the news starts to carry a glut of bizzare, minor stories about Jesus which together combine to remind those who are only faintly aware that Christmas is kinda meant to be about Jesus.'
For many of us our first, and possibly only, acting role was in a nativity play. So it’s strange that so few professional actors get the chance to return to their humble beginnings. The 2006 film The Nativity Story was the first time that an English version of the story had hit the silver screen since 1914. Television has tried a few new approaches to the story, such as 2007’s Liverpool Nativity, but a decent, historical attempt at telling the Christmas Story is long overdue.
Having enjoyed success with The Passion two and a half years ago, the BBC have decided to follow it up by filming a new version of the birth of Jesus. The Nativity is due to air over four nights in the run up to this Christmas with each episode lasting half an hour.
The birth of Jesus has always been a popular subject for art going right back to wall paintings in the Roman catacombs. Since then there have been thousands of paintings and sculptures made about the first Christmas, by many of the greatest names in art history.
So it’s no surprise that many contemporary artists have also attempted to depict the nativity. Interestingly as modern art has developed on the one hand, and Christianity’s privileged position in western society has slipped, Christmas-related works of art have become less straightforward and more complex and challenging
Over a lovely glass of mulled wine Santa and Jesus share a mince pie and discuss heavy schedules, the time space continuum and the real meaning of Christmas.
Draw a Father Christmas. Right now. In your mind at the very least. Was he fat? White? Old? Why? There are a lot of images which we see so often, that it's easy to forget we've created them. Or chosen them at least. And we may never stop to question why we've chosen to make them look this particular way. But when a psychologist says - "Draw a... house" - you might be shocked to learn how much more your drawing says about you, than it does about any house you've ever lived in. And the bloke you draw trying to squeeze down the chimney has got even more surprises in his sack. Secrets in fact. And not his secrets – ours! So what does Santa say about the things we really want (not just) for Christmas?
Last year a piece of research showed that the UK as a nation is a little confused about the details of the story behind Christmas. This year we’re not even sure we believe it. ‘What’s the problem’ you ask? Well, I’m wondering how someone can call himself or herself a Christian and not believe the basics. Even more than that I’m wondering what you think.
It is Advent Sunday this Sunday and we get to open the first window on the chocolate advent calender that my daughter has bullied me into getting on Monday 1st December...I can scarcely hold the children back from opening this first window and their impatience to get Christmas going is already starting to wear me out. So, why are we waiting? Why don't we just get on with it?
Did you see the tantalising preview of the Doctor Who Christmas Special on Children in Need a few days ago? David Tennant in fine form, a snowy Victorian market, a weird unearthly creature emerging from the shadows, and David Morrissey as the title character of the episode: The Next Doctor. But something seems a bit fishy here. Is that really a sonic screwdriver that his assistant Rosita handed him? Why is Rosita’s name so close to that of Rose? And why do ‘the next Doctor’s’ actions remind me of a famous saying of CS Lewis about Jesus?
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