Is there anything left to say? by Annmarie Miles

When I come to write about Christmas, I often start with the thought that I have nothing to offer. Well, nothing that has not been offered already. Haven’t we all heard everything there is to hear, said everything there is to say, written everything there is to write? 
I was recording interviews for an Advent series in our church. One of my interviewees is a wonderful poet, and what he had to share really struck me. He told me that each year he gets a fresh realisation that the child he grew out of being, is still within him.  He calls it, 'the heart's ambush.' That moment when he hears the first Carol; how it has the power to unlock childhood memories and emotions, which connect us all. I’ve been dwelling on it for the last couple of weeks. And I deliberately pondered it as I opened by boxes of decorations. I love to find my familiar Christmas trinkets. Many of them have special memories or connections. I love the Carols I’ve sung for as long as I can remember and would miss them if we didn’t sing then. 

It turns out, part of the joy of Christmas is its familiarity. The sameness of the annual traditions fills me with excitement. It is the same every year. It should be the same. There’s nothing new to say about Christmas and that’s the wonder of it.  
As we write our stories, whatever the genre, there’s nothing to fear in that familiarity. How many boy meets girl, good triumphs over evil, rags to riches, love conquers all stories exist? Aren’t there only a handful of plots anyway? It's what we do with them, that makes them unique. As is true for each individual's response to salvation and journey with God. 

When we write about the coming of the Saviour to world, let’s not be put off by the familiarity. We all need to hear it, again and again and again. And there is always someone who needs to hear it for the first time. 
May the wonder of 'our God contracted to a span’* infuse our Christmas writing year by year, and may we all be only too happy to 'repeat the hymn again.'**
* Quote from 'Let heaven and earth combine' by Charles Wesley

** Quote from 'A great and mighty wonder' by Germanus, Tr JM Neale

Annmarie Miles is from Dublin, Ireland.
She lives with her husband Richard who is a pastor in the Eastern Valley of Gwent, in South Wales.
She writes short stories, magazine articles, devotional pieces for Christian radio, and blogs about her faith at She is a lover of all things social media and offers help, in the guise of Sunflower Tech Wales to beginners who want to get started. You can find out about her fiction and her podcast, Words, Wobbles and Wisdom, here

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