THIS week I was asked to take part in a phone-in on ‘Marketing the True Meaning of Christmas’ on BBC Radio Tees (you can listen here. Around 1hr 5mins into the programme).

Rather predictably it got me thinking (as it would) about what the true meaning of Christmas is. Why is it so important to us? Is it just the presents or something a little deeper? And does it actually need marketing?

Perhaps we’ve moved away from the ‘Story of Christ’ element of Christmas, we are after all an increasingly secular society, but the key message of Jesus’ birth – that of God’s ultimate gift to humanity – is one of love.

So how would you ‘market’ this love? People do that best by sharing love, remembering it and celebrating it. The exchange of time at Christmas, not gifts, is the most important element.

Like many I may not be religious but I’ll be spending my time, as most people will, with those I care most about – and I’ll be thinking about those who I love but who are not with me. Christmas time often painfully reminds us of the loved ones we’ve lost – their love, and our love for them, continues within us. Feeling that love doesn’t need marketing.

Although superficially perhaps the exchange of presents is often focused on the real Christmas message, of love and humanity and the joy and pain that goes with it all, is still there.

Enjoy this Yuletide – sing a few carols, snuggling in with the best people in your life who are there and remember those who are not.

You’re celebrating love, the true meaning of Christmas, so enjoy it.