Children across the Christian world are reaching a point of near-hysteria about the prospect of going to church on Christmas morning and listening to another sermon about the birth of Jesus.
‘It’s the highlight of my year’ said seven year-old Tom Brydon from Chicago, USA. ‘Every Christmas morning I can’t wait for mom and pop to tell me to put away my new toys and to visit the local church. Sometimes as a special treat they let me stay behind in the church hall after mass and talk to lots of old people. It’s wicked.’
The story is repeated across the globe. Five year-old Sophie Morris from Worcester in England shares Tom’s enthusiasm. ‘When mum says it’s only two hours until we have to leave for church we’re all gutted – why do we have to wait so long? I think the church should open earlier so that we can spend longer there. Hopefully the old people will want to sing 20 or 30 of my favourite Christmas hymns before we have to go home. I just wish we could stay there all day.’
Some social commentators have expressed concern at the lack of interest among today’s young people in presents, chocolates and TV specials, with so much of Christmas now revolving around the arrival of the son of God and ways in which he might be worshipped. ‘I like the long sermon about children in Africa who don’t have any presents’ said one excited child. ‘My favourite is singing all the hymns. Sometimes I try and start an extra one, and Mum has to nag me to come home and open all my presents.’
Many children commented that the only thing that made returning from church bearable was the thought of a plateful of overcooked sprouts and some dried out turkey. ‘Turkey is the highlight of my year’ said six-year old Jean Lemond from Nice, France. ‘Being French, I care a great deal about quality food and I love nothing more than eating part of a 16Kg bird which has been in the oven for 24 hours. Normally vegetables are served al-dente, but Christmas day is the exception and we all love the Brussels sprouts after four hours of ferocious boiling.’
Last year a number of children asked if they could repeat the whole experience on Boxing Day morning but were unable to persuade their parents. ‘Perhaps they need a good sleep after all the turkey and sprouts’ said one understanding child.