We had our annual Christingle service last night. It wasn’t the full-blown Messy Church Christingle that we wrote for the Children’s Society, but a very simple ‘come half an hour early and make your own Christingle, then join in the service’ affair.
Good things: everyone LOVED making their own. It was easy to set up and avoided the faithful few slaving over 150 Christingles till their fingertips bleed from the battle with cocktail sticks and over-hard dolly mixtures. The sweets and sticks were pre-allocated (to avoid hideous lurgies and the first few Scouts swiping all the jelly babies) in plastic cups, which then had a name sticker stuck to them and the personal Christingle balanced on top.
Bad things: I forgot to ask anyone to wash their hands. Oops. But not a single parent glared at me or pointedly suggested it, so perhaps they had already washed their own and their children’s hands. I don’t think. And are we the only church that ends up with loads of defrocked oranges abandoned at the end, some with Ninja-like cocktail stick traps hidden inside them so you have a self-acupuncture session when you sit gloomily in your kitchen afterwards, surrounded by perforated oranges with bits of foil rammed down them, madly juicing for Britain before they go green and furry? FIVE PINTS of orange juice I squeezed. I recognise that in terms of Early Christian Martyrdom, this hardly registers on the scale, but I reserve the right to mutter aggrievedly.
Still, I am completely immune from all bugs ranging from the common cold to swine flu – they’d all drown in the moat of orange juice surrounding our house, never mind my reinforced immune system after OD-ing on vitamin C.