It may seem far too early to be thinking of Advent and Christmas in June - but I have spent the last couple of evenings helping to run events to encourage churches to be thinking well ahead. We were encouraging them to plan to make the best use of one of the church's most significant missional opportunities. I suspect that the time of year when we are most likely to attract non-church people to church is around Christmas.
For me, personally, Easter is our biggest festival - but I think that Christmas has the bigger impact on the world outside. So we shared ideas around how to make the best use of nativities and carol services, how we can use Christmas lunches and Christmas fairs as opportunities to communicate the true Christmas message, and a range of things that we had done.
One person told of having a nativity set in a special box with messages that was then "hosted" with a different family each night through Advent. Could that be worked in a school with sympathetic staff? Someone else talked of putting pictures up in the church windows through Advent as a kind of large-scale Advent calendar. Someone else spoke of giving away mince pies.
The wonder of Christmas must have really those who experienced the original version! How can we recapture that and share it in our day?