Advent begins this week, and with it the season for shopping.
For all Christians, this time of year can be difficult, with tension to negotiated, between Advent as a solemn season of preparation for the important Christian festival of Christmas, and the purely secular festive season leading up to the winter solstice, which marks the mid-point of winter's darkness and gloom.
For Christian sexual minorities (including the many straight singles and childless couples) there is an additional difficulty - the relentless emphasis in both church and stores on children and family. Kittredge Cherry at Jesus in Love Blog has come up with an ingenious way to counter this. Send your friends gay or lesbian themed Nativity cards. Love, after all, makes a family.
(I like Kitt's use of the term "Nativity" card - the word "Christmas" has been as much distorted and misused as the festival.)
Read her original post at Jesus in Love Blog, where she makes an important point: we must remember that in the traditional Nativity story, the biological details of the birth are extraordinary. Is the idea of a same sex couple procreating any more extraordinary than the Virgin birth?
To that, I would add the observation by the Catholic theologians Salzmann & Lawler, in "The Sexual Person": procreation refers not only to the physical production of an infant, but also the the subsequent care and nurturing of the child. Procreation by same-sex couples is not nearly as far-fetched as some people would have us believe.
Order your nativity cards from the "Jesus in Love Card Shop"