The (real) Meaning of Christmas

 

Quaerite Et Invenietis  “Seek and you will find”

 

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed”

 

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”

-Dr. Seuss,  ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’

 

“The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.”

-George Carlin

 

Merry Christmas to all on this most wonderful day of the year! This morning children everywhere will rise early in anticipation of opening their gifts, brought the night before by Santa Clause. Families will be together to share the joy and love of the Christmas Spirit. Christmas is celebrated in different ways all over the globe on or around December 25th.

Here in the U.S., families decorate the outside of their homes with festive lights and displays. Inside, stockings are hung over the fireplace to be filled with goodies and the Christmas tree is adorned with lights and decorations, and surrounded by gifts to be opened on Christmas morning. Later – the family, gathered together from far and wide – have a traditional turkey feast. But how did we come to celebrate Christmas the way we do?

We know that Christmas is an annual festival solemnizing the birth of Jesus Christ (or Jesus the Christ). It’s a religious and cultural celebration observed by billions around the world.

The gospels of Luke and Matthew state that Jesus was born in Bethlehem to the Virgin Mary. The pregnant Mary and her companion Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census, Jesus being born there. The Angels then heralded him as a Savior for the world.

Although no date is given in the Bible, early Christians connected Jesus to the Sun with such phrases as “Sun (not Son) of righteousness.” The Romans marked the Winter Solstice on December 25th, consequently, the first recorded Christmas celebration was held in Rome on that date in 336 A.D.

The word Christmas is a shortened form of “Christ’s Mass.” The word is recorded as Christesmaesse in 1038 and Cristes-messe in 1131. Christ is from the Greek Khristos, a translation of Hebrew Masiah or Messiah, meaning “anointed.”

The abbreviation ‘X-mas’ is based on the first letter Chi (x) in Greek Khristos. Christmas has been known by various names throughout history. Anglo-Saxons referred to the feast as “Mid-Winter”. In Old English Geola (Yule) referred to the period corresponding to December and January which eventually became Christian Christmas. Noel (or Nowel) entered English in the late 14th century from Old French Nael, ultimately from Latin Natalis, meaning ‘birth’.

Christmas is celebrated in many countries around the world including many non-Christian countries due to periods of colonial rule, for example; Hong Kong. Another reason would have been  because of a countries Christian minorities, Japan is one such country, where Christmas is popular despite a small number of Christians. Many of these countries have adopted Christmas traditions such as gift-giving and decorating Christmas trees.

So that is the History of Christmas, but what about the true meaning of Christmas. I know sometimes here in the U.S. we forget what it is really about. Almost everybody here celebrates; even the atheists. It has become  more of  a commercial holiday, with the television news reporting more on how much Americans spent on the holidays than on stories about the real meaning.

We all know the real meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of a great man whose life was dedicated to spreading a message of love and peace. We should remember that the tradition of gift-giving is about the act of giving,  not receiving.

I love this quote from American author Steve Maraboli:

“Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

Let’s try to remember what it is all about this holiday season. Try to spread joy and love to those you encounter, and remember, it’s about a man two thousand years ago who just wanted us to all get along. Peace. In the words of Dickens’ Tiny Tim – “God bless us, everyone!

Merry Christmas

Joyeux Noel

Frohe Weinachten

Feliz Navidad

Buon Natale

Feliz Natal

Vrolijk Kerstfeest

Craciun Fericit

Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narcdzenia

God Jul

Vesele Vanoce

Heri Ya Krismasi

Sheng Dan Kuai Le

Nollaig Shona Dhuit

Gozhgg Keshmish

*Please forgive any misspelling

 

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

 

Kelly Curtis