Dec 092011

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Over the past weeks I have been sharing many great Christmas gift ideas, helped lots of parents save money on their Christmas shopping and even gave some decoration tips but somehow I have not been feeling 100% happy. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and enjoy giving gifts, I cherish time spent with family and sing along with Christmas songs but for me there is more to it than that. I know it may not be popular or hip in everyone’s eyes but I (and my family) celebrate CHRISTmas, not just Christmas or xmas, and this is more important to me than all my hip Christmas shopping finds. When I spotted this month’s Australian Women’s Weekly one thing jumped out to me from the cover straight away: Stars who have faith.

I often feel that I am one of a minority and sadly there are not many famous people who speak out publicly about being a Christian, giving the impression that it may not be very popular to express your religion in public. To come across such a well known and much loved magazine and look at the faces of five famous Australians who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in is very encouraging. Like me these five people celebrate Christmas because of Jesus’ birth and they implement this into their Christmas day activities in different ways.

I loved reading about Masterchef winner Kate Bracks, who’s family celebrates the birth of Jesus with one of Kate’s delicious chocolate cakes (unfortunately no recipe there but to make up for that this issue of Women’s Weekly magazine (when purchased in store) does come with a free recipe book full of beautiful Christmas dishes including the yummiest desserts). What better way to explain Christ’s birthday to children than with a real birthday cake with candles? Yes her children do get presents but that is not what Christmas is all about.

Then there is Elka Whalan, the former Olympic swimmer who I very much admire for speaking out on national tv about her opinion on drugs. Expectant mum Elka is pictured in a beautiful shot showing off her baby bump, she will be very busy this Christmas with two little ones but she is not complaining. She feels abundantly blessed and being grateful for all you have is also part of Christmas (and other days too, something I sometimes forget when I am tripping over all the toys my lovely kids have once again not put away).

What really hit home for me is the interviews with former treasurer Peter Costello and NRL player William Hopoate (yes, the Women’s Weekly is not only about women!). I never really thought of how hard it can be for men to be outright about their beliefs in a male work environment (obviously much harder than it is for me being at home with my children). I take my hat off for them and feel inspired to be open about what Christmas means to me, even if it is not popular! So here we go: To all of my lovely readers, have a very blessed CHRISTmas! My chest feels a lot lighter now that I’ve said it!

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  13 Responses to “The Australian Women’s Weekly: CHRISTmas vs Christmas”

  1. Great article Simone, and well done for sharing so openly – I know that can’t have been easy! Whatever society makes of it today, there would be no Christmas if it weren’t for that tiny little babe, born in a manger, 2000 years ago. Merry CHRISTmas to you and your Hip Little Ones!

    • Thanks so much Rach. It most certainly wasn’t easy but it has been on my heart that somehow the commercial side was taking over. I took a deep breath before I published this post but I am glad I did, because in the end I do not want to be ashamed of my faith.

  2. I was sent here By Michelle, because she thought you and I would get along.
    It is hard to be open about our faith, particularly when others can be so against it. I’m always excited to hear about public personalities who place the righ emphasis in the righ place.
    I will definitely be buying this edition; we need all the support we can get.

    • Thanks for commenting Jess (and thanks to Michelle for spreading the word), I really appreciate it. It really can be hard and I have waited a long time for the right opportunity to come along to share. I knew it would not be appreciated or understood by everyone, but I do not want to be ashamed of my faith and want to speak up when I do get the chance. If only I made one person think, or made someone feel supported and encouraged, it is more than worth it! Have a very merry Christmas!

  3. Hey Simone,

    Nice article and very well written! I’m sure it will make more than one person think about Christmas and its meaning. Keep up the good work!

  4. yes, for me CHRISTmas. I loved this article

  5. I didn’t get to that article yet. We celebrate CHRISTmas too.

    • I loved the article, so nice to see more people speak out. I admit that I first flicked through the little recipe book (for a non-Aussie like me there is a lot to learn about Australian Christmas meals) but this article was the next thing I dug into. Enjoy your CHRISTmas with your boys Trish, that it may be a very special time together.

  6. Well written Simone, and I agree. Christmas is about the birth of our Saviour.

  7. I was stoked to see the article about christians in the AWW – especially in a climate that is increasingly hostile towards us. Congratulations Simone and keep the GREAT work! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment Julie, I really appreciate it. You are so right, nowadays any public statement about religion is discouraged unfortunately. But I don’t want to hide my faith because of the response I might get, I want to speak out regardless of what people will say of me. If my God is for us…

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