Christmas Rituals

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. Matthew 2:10

‘A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together,’ writes Garrison Keillor in Leaving Home, his gentle observation of life in small-town America. 

You can’t escape Christmas so how are this year’s preparations going? Finished the Christmas cleaning? Made the cake? Bought the presents? Or are you still in denial that Christmas is only a matter of weeks away?

The truth is that no matter how much we pretend we want to avoid ‘going through’ this ‘compulsory’ festive season of Christmas, we welcome it. We relish our family rituals — decorating the tree, visiting Santa and singing carols. They tie us to the generations that came before and connect us, through our children, to the generations to come.

Schools too, have rituals that are ‘compulsory’ at this time of the year. How much emptier would school life be without the excitement and wonder of the Preps’ Christmas plays? How much poorer without Presentation ceremonies to acknowledge the achievements of our students? How much colder without the opportunity to farewell our Year 12 students as they walk out the gates for the last time? These school rituals, like family rituals, link the past to the present, the present to the future and are valued. Traditions are created that are treasured; that never become stale and hollow no matter how many years they are enacted.

At St Peters, we have one last important ritual to finish our year. On the last day of term, the whole school will gather for our Christmas service. We will, as we do every year, celebrate the birth of the Christ child. We will wonder anew at the love of a God who would send his only Son to die for our sins and we will walk away from 2017 wrapped in peace and goodwill — the gifts of a God of grace.

May you have a joyous and blessed Christmas filled with laughter and love.

Sue Grotherr, P-12 Curriculum Coordinator