’Tis the season to shop?

Here’a sign of the times, spotted last week in Colchester.

The monstrous party of consumption and stress starts earlier every year – and threatens to put more people in debt, for longer. Perhaps it’s good that this annual season of frenzied consumerism now looks almost totally detached from its origins.

The weird thing is that the story of the Christ in Christmas is about contrasting, and radically more satisfying stuff than shopping. But don’t get us wrong: Jesus was no party-pooper. Jesus partied a lot, but he did so to engage people in his big project to restore the hurting, the needy and the lost. (We’ll be having a carols party on 15 December – more info to follow.)

So, to really get partying this Christmas, we may need to shop less, not more!