Christmas is the world’s biggest holiday celebration. It’s not an exclusive Christian celebration anymore. Even non-Christian countries now celebrate Christmas either directly or indirectly, or should I say, not openly.
Though there are non-Christian nations openly celebrates Christmas holiday such as countries like South Korea, Japan, and other Middle East countries, there are still countries like China that still strictly prohibits the celebration of Christmas. But some people there reportedly still celebrate the Holiday season, but only in discreet.
So why do non-Christian countries now celebrate Christmas even though it is a Christian holiday?
Christmas nowadays has become commercialized. As time became modern, businesses capitalized this season.
Christmas is maybe the busiest time in the planet. Malls, parks, restaurants and other special places are full-packed and heavy traffic is everywhere. This is also the highest rate sales for businesses. Sales rates during holiday season maybe triple compare to ordinary shopping days. We usually buy gifts for loved ones and ourselves; we dine-in, take a vacation with families and friends, and make special meals at home with them.
Another reason that Christmas was adopted in non-Christian countries is that Christmas makes us feel good and it is the time to be good to others.
Tradition taught us to give, share, love and be peaceful and forgiving during this season.
While it is the loneliest season for people away from loved ones, it is still the happiest and joyful season for most of us.
This season also gives us the excuse to party, to time-out from work, and spend.
It is also the time of the year that we seek for money.
Businesses made us think that Christmas is incomplete without shopping and spending more.
And this is the reason for the next point.
Christmas season also gain the highest crime rate.
Stealing, robbery, murder, and other crime from the influence of alcohol are the usual content of the news on TV and newspapers. With the desire to gain material things and celebrate the season splendidly, we commit acts that could result in breaking the law and the spirit of Christmas.
I also want to ad images. The number one image that we see during Christmas holiday is Santa Clause. Number two is the Christmas tree. Number three is the gifts; these are the boxes with ribbons. Fourth would be Christmas bells. Fifth is the Snowman. The Nativity fell only on sixth.
With the numbers of things that I mentioned in the list, are these the true essence of Christmas?
Is the list complete; or makes Christmas complete?
Do we already know what and why are we celebrating?
I’m sure the whole world already knows what is Christmas.
And I’m sure a lot of people, especially Christians know the essence of Christmas; giving, sharing, love, joy, peace and forgiveness.
But are we doing it the right way? Do we really have to spend a huge amount to give, share, and love? Do we have to party all night to feel good and be happy?
The problem with us is that we associate joy with material things and money. We thought that as long as we have lots of money and we get what we want, we will be happy.
Special mention here is Ebenezer Scrooge.
Little we know that material things might give us happiness, but not joy.
Joy is something that money can’t buy.
Giving and sharing can not only be done through material things.
Giving gifts during Christmas originated from what the wise men did on the first ever Christmas day. They gave little Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Although they gave precious material things, these are not the only thing that they offered to the Lord. They gave their Time, Effort, and Worship.
The wise men gave too much effort by travelling through camels or horse from country to country.
It is not enjoyable to sit on a bike on a two-hour ride. Much more on a camel on months of travel.
They also spend a lot of time on travel. As we all know, camels, or even horse, don’t travel as fast as bullet trains.
They also spend so much time studying the star of Bethlehem. It didn’t just appear and decided to follow it instantly. The wise men are considered as astronomers. Studying stars takes time. And how they acknowledge the Lord just showed how they studied the Scriptures carefully.
And when they arrived at the manger, they eat, drink, dance and party till dawn!
They kneel down, worship, and pray.
There are lots of things that change the way we celebrate Christmas day.
- We changed solemnity with noise.
- We changed the worship and prayer with party and shopping.
- We changed the image of Christmas; from Jesus to Santa Clause. (Try to Google Image the word Christmas. 99% of the images that will appear is Santa Clause, Christmas trees, Christmas decors, reindeers, snowman, etc.
- We changed Christmas to Xmas. Actually, it’s taking out Christ on Christmas. This is done for what? Saving writing space, time and effort? Thanks to commercialism.
Just remember that we can give and share not just material things. We can give and share our time. Spending time with family and friends is priceless. Sharing good moments and laughter with them is priceless.
On happiness and joy, can’t we have joy and be thankful that God had sent His Son to save us from our sins and spiritual death?
This Christmas, let us celebrate the season with the celebrant Himself and worship and pray to Him with our family and friends this Christmas.
This is the complete celebration and true essence of Christmas.