Christmas Presence? #digidisciple @johnschaplain

To begin – May I wish you a Happy, Holy and Blessed Christmas. Incidentally, why are you sitting here reading this blog when there is a turkey to be stuffed?

I am writing this on a peaceful evening a few days before the seasonal fest. Equipped with Pringles and red wine, I find myself musing on Christmas past. This was a world before smart phones and computer wizardry. In our stockings the most technologically advanced toy I ever got was Operation.  I always dreamed of an Etch a Sketch. But it never happened. Tangerines, walnuts (why?) crayons, a board game, and books were the norm. They were innocent times.  One kid in my class had a ZX Spectrum. I seem to remember hours of typing in strings of numbers in order to play a crappy version of Space Invaders. So here I sit, stuffing my face with Pringles and wondering what I would really like for Christmas – apart from a hoover to clean the  keyboard.

The possibilities are endless – particularly for gadgetry. There’s the not to be missed Smart Glove. ‘Gloves which you can use with any touchscreen device! Thanks to the special conductive material discreetly woven into the forefinger, middle finger and thumb tips of these stylish gloves, you can keep your fingers toasty and still have full control of your iPhone, iPad or any other touchscreen device.’ Or you could just take off your gloves and use your fingers with that skin deftly wrapped over the bone and sinew enabling marvellous conductivity. Am I being a bit cynical?

I did find the Etch A Sketch iPhone 4 Case rather appealing as a means of healing the wounds of the past: ‘Hark back to retro times – everyone loves Etch A Sketch’. Except I have an HTC Desire, not an iPhone. I knew it was a mistake.


As you can tell, as I pop another Pringle, I have been surfing for those special gifts. Special and bizarre. This was the weirdest thing I found. That special stocking filler:

Effervescent Bacon Flavoured Drink Tablets. Apparently, you drop them into water (or juice, or milk) and they will begin to bubble and dissolve, eventually infusing the water with a delicious bacon flavour. Bleaugrh – that is just plain wrong.

Religious geekery offers a whole host of potential hits this Christmas . My favourite was the Bible Clock advertised  on the Ship of Fools Gadgets for God website. Here’s the blurb:

Imagine being awoken each morning by a deep, plummy voice intoning the words of Psalm 57 – “Awake my soul! Awake harp and lyre…” – followed by a series of short, piercing beeps. If that’s your cup of tea then BibleClock could be just what you need. It has over 100 minutes of Bible verses chosen with early mornings in mind. And in a stunning bonus feature, “If you make the sign of the cross with your finger on the clock face, the clock will play either the Lord’s Prayer or the 23rd Psalm.” Apps don’t come any better than this.

Indeed! What can I say…

Perhaps the winner for me for that fun packed family Christmas is ‘Salvation Challenge’. Rather like Monopoly, in a way. I love the blurb:

‘All players start at the Cross and move clockwise round the board in search of salvation. Once you land on Calvary, you throw your hands in the air, slap a red sticker on your forehead, shout “Jesus saved me!” and proceed immediately to the River Jordan for baptism. And so it goes on. Yes, what better way to spend an evening with unregenerate family and friends than getting them to renounce Monopoly, sacrifice that chance of winning second prize in a beauty contest, and play Salvation Challenge instead?

Perhaps life was simpler back in the days of tangerines, walnuts and Operation.  Anyway, whatever you got in your stocking, I hope today is full of love and laughter, free of bacon tabs, and overflowing with a deep sense of God’s presence.

Merry Christmas.


About Kate Bruce

Deputy Warden, Cranmer Hall, teacher, preacher, digital adolescent. Interested in helping people to preach better, find their voice and communicate with energy, integrity and conviction. Think faith should make a difference at the sharp end. Love God. Love Dog.