Christmas shopping started early this year with the invention of “Black Friday” and will continue right up to the 6th of January, especially in Spain and other Latin countries where the epiphany is celebrated as seriously as Christmas day.
Meanwhile children are taken to the shopping centres during the week-ends to see Santa Claus and tell him what presents they would like to receive, while the parents take their photos sitting on his lap.
The stockings are up, the Christmas Tree has been decorated and the living room and the home have been converted into a Christmas wonderland. The shelves have been stacked with Christmas candies, the fridge is full of ham, chicken, turkey, goat’s meat and beef for the Christmas Day feast.
The Christmas greetings cards have been sent and some are received. This is truly a lovely period to be alive and in
good health as, gradually, the Christmas fever grips every one the nearer it gets to the day.
The cold weather is of course the ‘dot on the I’ for us here in the northern hemisphere. Yes, even in the warmer climate zones the dew can fall at night covering the ground, giving it the appearance that it has snowed. With a clear sky, the moonlight can be so sparkling and radiant that it can blanket the woods with beautiful shades and shadows.
In the northern parts snow itself is so much part of Christmas that we look forward to a ‘White Christmas’ every time; it is a splendid feeling when, at times, it snows on Christmas day while you sit back, carols playing, lights twinkling with the sweet appetizing aromas of chicken and turkey sizzling in the oven and the childrenenjoying their Christmas toys. Nothing can beat the gladness and euphoria of Christmas.
This of course is the description of the ideal Christmas, the fairy tale version of it. Unfortunately, Christmas has become so commercialised it has lost its true meaning; fairy lights, tinsel and extravagant presents have made us forget about those who do not have families to celebrate with because it is intended to be a precious spent time with
family and those we love. Then there are those who are even less fortunate and cannot afford to buy their fairy tale Christmas.
All of the above mentioned would have been perfectly legitimate if they were done within the context of the true meaning of Christmas. Understandably it is important for people to enjoy the harmless Christmas fun and traditions. I think the children particularly should have their fun with Santa Claus. It is all part of the drama of growing up; I often think back and cherish those precious childhood moments.
Many of the traditions of Christmas seem to be more pagan than religious; the Christmas Tree, decking the hall and
banisters with garlands and buntings and Santa Claus, all serve a noble purpose ifonly we do not miss the true meaning of Christmas. As long as drunkenness, adultery, fornication, drugs, etc are kept out of it, it remains a healthy enjoyable family feast, the celebration of a family reunion as inspired by the birth of Jesus, the name of the occasion should say it all: Christ & Mass (Christmas).
While it is legitimate to enjoy Christmas fun within families, it does not serve a good spiritual purpose for people to
ignore the true meaning and origin of Christmas.It is the celebration of the birth of Christ, had Christ not been borne there would be no Christmas. It is the whole basis of Christianity. The 25th December, is the day that a child was born in the City of David who would give his life on the cross to make sure that everybody is redeemed from the curse of sin. The epicentre of Christmas is Christ, not Santa Claus.
Even when we maintain our traditions, let us not forget to tell our children the truth. that Santa is just a human creation invented by Coca Cola and that Jesus Christ is the real star of the show.
Whether you are a believer or not, history cannot be changed and if we keep reminding ourselves and our children of the history upon which Christianity and our ancestors have placed their beliefs, we might be able to maintain a better
world than we have at present and attach greater value to our lives.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!