Ahh…Christmas! Everything here is very much the picture of a traditional English Christmas; the English do keep the holiday, but for many in Oxford, Christ is not the central focus. However, the crisp winter backdrop is the perfect setting for Christmas traditions (much like our past Romania and Colorado settings once were). Tonight we came across “Traditional Fresh Turkeys” in Oxford’s well-known Covered Market and laughed to think it’s cold enough to leave scores of plucked birds hanging for the shop front! The picture shows it’s true…
Last week we enjoyed walking through the cold to attend Handel’s Messiah at the historic Sheldonian Theatre. This week we’ll take in the classic Dickens play, A Christmas Carol, at the trendy North Wall venue. Church oriented events have included a family carol service at our “happy-clappy” home church, St. Aldate’s, and a “high church” carol concert at Christ Church Cathedral featuring Jeremy Irons (famous film/theatre star of The Mission) as the reader. We are fortunate to be part of a very vibrant community of faith here, but we know that for most who live in this intellectual city the Christmas story is ancient history.
One break in our tradition is due to the first time absence of our son, Daniel, from our festivities. As an adult in the world of work, he didn’t have the days available to join us in England. Other friends remind us that traditions are broken for them too as not everyone sees Christmas as a cold weather celebration–friends from Zimbabwe are longing for holiday water polo in the backyard pool! We remember warm Christmas Days in Thailand, Cambodia and Florida and know that every climate has something to offer when Christ is celebrated.
Whatever your traditions and weather might be, we hope that you will keep the coming of Christ central and the love of family and friends dear. We send you love always,
Bill and Ky Prevette