My Christmas has a pick-and-mix feel to it: a Quakerly refusal to be slavishly attached to ‘times and seasons’ is tempered with gratitude for times and seasons when friends and family get together. There are elements of winter solstice observation involving greenery and feasting; it has a spark of Chanukah with lighting of candles and it calls for German biscuit-baking on an industrial scale.
It seems that other Bath Friends have a similarly eclectic approach to Christmas, if a brief discussion at our local business meeting in November is anything to go by. We were invited to contribute a tree to the Bath Central United Reformed Church Christmas tree trail; we came to a rapid decision that we would indeed accept this invitation from our valued and welcoming landlord, taking the opportunity to present the Quaker Testimonies as seasonal good wishes. Beverley donated branches of twisted hazel, Aliya brought craft materials and after a children’s meeting in late November, behold: we had a tree.
The trees are in Bath Central United Reformed Church, and will be on display until at least 2 January. Here is a selection, celebrating everything from peace through toilet twinning to sharing food.