"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
December 11, 2005

Advent: Christmas In The City

‚ÄúCity sidewalks Busy sidewalks Dressed in holiday style In the air there’s a feeling like Christmas…‚Äù For me Christmas has always been a very urban experience. I don‚Äôt resonate much with the rural images of Christmas and the crowded car-parks of suburban malls never speak to me of Christmas, no matter how many plastic images […]

“City sidewalks
Busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there’s a feeling like Christmas…‚Äù

For me Christmas has always been a very urban experience. I don‚Äôt resonate much with the rural images of Christmas and the crowded car-parks of suburban malls never speak to me of Christmas, no matter how many plastic images of trees and Santa’s they are adorned with.

By contrast, there is something about dim lights on a cold city street with coat-wearing urbanites out shopping and generally enjoying the season that speaks to me about this time of year. Sure it is busy, but sometimes, if you stop on a busy city street for a moment, there is a weird serenity in amongst the crowd, a constant low noise that has a different pitch at this time of year.

“Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you hear”

In an odd way, the city is given back to it’s dwellers on Christmas day. Once the shops close on the eve, the city empties of all but those who live there. Walking to church on Christmas day is a uniquely calm experience. In London, I loved walking in the local park after lunch on Christmas day. You then see the warmth urban dwellers seem to reserve for their neighbors.

This year we will be back in London for Christmas and I am so glad we will again be staying centrally. Walking down a busy street full of smiling shoppers (yes shoppers in London do smile!), presents in one hand a bizarre Christmas coffee in the other, looking forward to a warm greeting from loved ones at home. This is part of what Christmas means to me, part of being urban, part of being alive.

“It’s Christmas time in the city”

[tags] Advent, Christmas, Urban Theology, Theology and Culture

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Responses
Dr. Mike Kear 17 years ago

Beautifully written, Fernando!

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