Since I became an adult and living in this part of the world, I find that the society tries very hard to take Christ away from Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the opening of many bottles of prosecco, the very many lights in the windows, the huge well decorated Christmas trees you see everywhere, the cards in the mail, expensive roast turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room? Is this really Christmas?
Its the most wonderful time of the year
Christmas means different things to different people. To some, it is a heartwarming time with family and friends. To many children, it’s about receiving presents and Santa Claus. It has become known as a time for shops and businesses to make money, for people to buy and give gifts, for children to be taken to Santa grottos, winter wonderland, and a period for hosting very expensive parties. Christmas is supposed to be the time of year where we celebrate the birth of Christ. But, unfortunately, it’s become a commercial holiday rather than a religious one.
I was at my local shopping mall to buy a Christmas jumper and cards for my son’s school Christmas jumper day approximately 2 weeks before Christmas day. As per this time of the year, the mall was packed filled with people- actually that isn’t very correct- it felt more like a stampede: there was hardly any free car parking space, there was a huge human traffic everywhere, the queues to pay at the tills were so long, you would think Christmas was the next day.
The real reason for the season is supposed to be remembering the birth of Jesus, not only gifts, decorations or hosting parties. There is nothing wrong in having celebrations, giving gifts or taking the kids to winter wonderland but it isn’t complete when we lose the recognition of the meaning of the most special time of the year- the appreciation of the birth of the Jesus Christ who loves us and died in our place.
Hence for me, the true meaning of Christmas is remembering and acknowledging the birth of Jesus Christ. I am truly thankful for the best GIFT ever. Jesus came to this world for me and so I could have an eternal life with God in heaven some day. He came so that I would live again. I can never leave out the valuable reason for this season.
The magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in his presence
Christmas is also about sharing and caring particularly for the less fortunate around you. When it comes to care, you need to show it in any way you can especially to those less privilege around you. At the start of December, my work team went to revamp a homeless shelter in Westminster, unfortunately the volunteer day clashed with my son’s school nativity play therefore I was unable to attend. I was very glad to read the great feedback from the charity organisation even though i couldn’t make it in person. Helping the needy is much more important than buying any gifts for those that already have so much. Besides, we tend to get so wrapped up in the presents we are getting our kids, that we forget that sometimes all they want is a moment of our attention, a hug and cuddles.
Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting
Since I became a mom, it has also become a time to spend quality time with family and loved ones as i usually tend to take some part of my annual leave around the Christmas period to overlap with the school holidays. I then get to arrange the Christmas decorations (which i love doing by the way), buy some presents for everyone around me, take the kids to see Santa and prepare to host and/or attend Christmas parties. This year we decided to spend our Christmas in Dubai for a change and to get some warmth away from the UK cold chills. We got to relax by Jumeirah beach and visit family over there.
Its not what is under the tree that matters, its who’s gathered around it
Having said all these, Christmas is an important time to remember that:
- You should try as much as possible not to get caught up in all the hype
- It can be a strange time of the year- it can be happy or sad, depending upon your outlook
- For many people, they’re alienated from their families through distance, or have few or no friends to celebrate with.
- For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow because they don’t have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends
- There are many people facing Christmas without someone they love this year due to death or divorce
- Your children will cherish those moments where you just sit and cuddle with them on the sofa
- Those quiet moments matter more than any gifts would
- Its okay if you don’t have the means to buy the gifts you really wanted for your children or that they asked for
- Its okay if you cant afford to host the kind of party you would have loved
- It is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection and gratitude. It is a perfect time to count our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us
We can choose to be truly happy at Christmas regardless of our personal, financial or emotional circumstances, knowing that we are all God’s children and he cares so much for us. I hope this Christmas was a period for you and your family to remember the birth of Jesus Christ and hopefully have some quality time with loved ones. May the new year be filled with love, joy, laughter, happiness and goodwill and may each new day bring you moments to cherish.
What does Christmas mean to you?