What Is The Meaning Of Christmas?
By: Danielle McC., Grade 11, Booth Memorial High School, St.John's, NF
Christmas is a holiday which people from most religions commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, and how he came to this world. They each may have their own version to the Christmas Story, or own reason for celebrating this holiday, but the basic idea is that the Virgin Mary and Joseph were blessed with God’s child, and that child was known as their saviour. When someone says the meaning of Christmas, that’s what comes to my mind.
Christmas is the season where people get together to celebrate each other and the son of God - Jesus Christ, who taught us wrong from right.
However, this meaning of Christmas must have gotten thrown out with all the torn wrapping paper and bows. Many people today seem to have lost the true meaning of Christmas. Through the power of advertising in our commercialized society, the significance of Christmas has changed. People are still excited about Christmas, but for the wrong reasons. Now instead of the traditional essence, Christmas is about buying, buying and more buying. Purchasing the hottest gifts and spending outrageous amounts of money have become central to this holiday. All people seem to care about is getting the “perfect” gift, and how much they spend on it. Or finding the biggest tree, and the flashiest lights and decorations, making the tastiest fruitcake, and juiciest Christmas turkey.
Christmas has other meanings to different people. To some it means sliding on snowy hills, skating, drinking hot chocolate, putting up the tree together, and family dinners. To others, it may represent Christmas shopping, exchanging hugs and presents with friends and family on Christmas Eve, making snow angels on Christmas morning, and getting time off school.
Sure, all those things are nice, but there is no real value in them. Christmas vacation only lasts so long...by the time it’s over, the “newness” of the presents and clothes are gone, your Christmas money is spent, and kids and adults alike, grudgingly make their way back to work and school. The bulbs and ornaments are just decorations that you will have out about for about a month, then pack away again for another year. Carving the turkey and visiting relatives are customs most people do only when this time of year comes around. And the delicious recipes usually remain dusty in your drawer until it’s time to make goodies for Santa eat.
The story of why we celebrate Christmas however, will stay with you forever, not in some box in your attic labelled “x-mas”. The story of Christ’s birth is a tradition unlike any other. It’s the same in the aspect that the story will be passed down from generation to generation. But in this case, the moral is applicable all year long. The message is to love each other and treasure the little miracles that come to you. And no matter what you’ve sinned or how many times, God always gives second chances. It’s up to the impending generations if they will understand this message or not.
It’s not just teenagers and little kids that have succumbed to advertisements. Adults have aided in the materializing of this magical holiday. They attempt to make up for not educating their children about Christmas and sending them to church, by buying them any toy their heart desires. However, I highly doubt that any Furby or Tickle Me Elmo, is going to replace the experience of Christmas mass.
There are ways we can recapture the old sentiment of Christmas. Visit Senior Citizens homes, give joy and Christmas spirit back to those who have lost it over the years. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, and make at least one family’s Christmas dinner an enjoyable one. Don’t freak out about buying presents, show people you love them by giving them something from your heart. Carry on with a legacy and go mummering from house to house on Christmas Eve. If you’re feeling more like the Grinch or Scrooge than jolly old Saint Nick, sing a few Christmas carols to lighten your mood. Most importantly, read The Christmas Story, or go to Church on Christmas Day, it will remind you of the purpose of our merriment.
As the line from the Christmas carol says; “Come let us rejoice him, for the king of angels...” which is something we should do not only on this specific holiday, but everyday.