Richard Ord: Jesus ‘not Christmassey’

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IS the true meaning of Christmas being lost under a barrage of wanton commercialism?

One would hope so, we need to spend our way out of this recession and fast.

I questioned the loss of the true meaning of Christmas last week after our Isaac, seven, found what he thought was the image of Christ on one of the chocolates in his Mars advent calendar.

“This isn’t Christmassy,” he moaned. “It’s a picture of Jesus.”

Yeah son, I mean, what has Jesus got to do with Christmas? He wants to keep his big nose out of it if you ask me.

Thankfully he still had his school Christmas nativity play to put him back on the straight and narrow.

What better way to introduce children to the story of our saviour’s arrival on Earth than through the heart-warming re-enactment of the nativity?

He had one line in the production. Perhaps you are familiar with it. I know I am, having heard it repeated at every opportunity in the run up to the show.

Three words. “We never stop.”

Was he one of the wise men following the star of Bethlehem to the birthplace of Jesus? No.

Was he the shepherd watching his flock by night? Erm, no.

So, I asked, who was he playing in this Christmas production? “I’m Tock,” he told me.

I don’t remember Tock in the story of the birth of Jesus. Was that the name of one of the innkeepers denying Mary a room for the night?

“No,” said Isaac. “I’m one of the Tocks. There’s loads of us. Ticks and Tocks.”

His important role in the nativity was that of a clock. One of a dozen as it turned out. The significance was lost on me.

At least, I suppose, he wasn’t one of the guitar-wielding rock stars that appeared in the production. That would really mess with his recollection of the nativity story.

There were some wise men in the production, but I don’t recall the baby Jesus, and there was no stable.

That said, it was great show, and for once in a school production, we were spared the traditional “death by recorder” section.

The true meaning of Christmas will no doubt become clear in the fullness of time.

In the meantime, we are left with that enduring image of a child in his special school nativity. A photo of a b