People, especially for Filipinos, celebrate Christmas yearly. Most see it as an opportunity to take a break, while for many it is the season to be stuck in traffic. To some, it is a time to receive gifts and to a few, it means to delight in the real meaning of Christmas. But what is the real essence of Christmas and how do we fully acknowledge it? The matter of celebrating Christmas has been evolving, but what makes it more meaningful lies on how an individual or a group revels it provoked by a purpose.
This article affirms that Christmas is a season that revitalizes love and joy in a manner of celebrating it and spending the moments with Family and love ones.
The Christmas is originally based on a historic events that dates back between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C. according to some scholars (Castro, 2014). This was the birth of Jesus of Nazareth a very prolific person in the Bible. The story began with a virgin woman named Mary who miraculously conceived Jesus and went to Bethlehem with her betrothed husband Joseph. And in Bethlehem, She gives birth to Jesus in a manger as they were visited by shepherds and kings, famous for the title of Holy Family. The whole picture paints the portrait of a complete family being together and relishing each other despite the inconveniences of the situation; running out of rooms to spend the night, giving birth in a manger, and having to deal with the limited resources. Centuries have passed and yet this same story is still told and accepted as the perfect picture and derivation of Christmas. It has become a tradition to western countries such as America as well as to European countries to hold such holiday. Influenced by previous colony, some Asian countries like Philippines have inherited the same practice that is yearly being acknowledge.
The Jesus story is not the same origin of the holiday to some cultures and religion. In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. In Rome, where winters were not as harsh as those in the far north, Saturnalia, a holiday in honor of Saturn the god of agriculture, was celebrated (HISTORY.com, 2018). Despite that since the Roman Catholic Empire rise the centric view of the winter holiday became Christmas where majority accepted. It has become the common holiday celebrated by most in their own household. In light with Washington Irving’s The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent. Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status, according to his mind (HISTORY.com, 2018). But then through the rapid progress and evolution of man through the centuries technology, materialism, shallow traditions and other external performs have impact the way the season is valued. Christmas party, exchange gifts, and Christmas trees are of some mentionable practices of the current generation. Such are not harmful nor bad but the meaning of the Christmas have depleted to a product of stress, expectations, rush, and such. To Filipinos, many children are exposed to the thought of always receiving gifts or money from their uncles and aunties. Most adults would expect for irritating traffics along the shopping malls and countless parties to attend to. Even crime rate are expected to rise because of the need of marginalized people. Whilst all this is creating distraction to the internal matters of the season.
Going back to the story of the first Christmas, all that the family of Jesus had was a manger, some visitors, and the whole family itself. Nothing much was accounted to happen or given besides the gifts of the three Kings. In contrast to the vague practices, the real reason to celebrate Christmas is not that we or any of us can give anything rather the thought that a God would give something valuable to us as a gift. Real significance revolves around the idea of love not merely the thought of giving but celebrating the love that bind the Holy family together and fostered the hope and love to mankind. Jesus being a gift to Mary and Joseph, and a present to all humans, this is what nurtured the value and importance of each family members watching over each other in their household.
Spending time with love ones bringing each one closer with one another are more important than buying gifts or rushing to parties. Right reason produces right values that maximizes the meaning and joy of Christmas. Thus, it is the internal factors and meaning that brings fulfillment to Christmas endowed with those person that truly matters to a person’s life.
- History of Christmas. October 2009. A&E Television Networks. Retrieved from: https://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas#section_7
- Castro, J. 2014. Live Science:When was Jesus born. Retrieved from: https://www.livescience.com/42976-when-was-jesus-born.html