What is Christmas? What does it mean to you? Is it a religious holiday or is it about gift giving and Santa? Is it both? What does Christmas mean to you?
To most, Christmas is a major celebration of Christianity, the birth of the Christ Child. To others it’s an opportunity to share gifts and feast on rich foods. Yet to others it’s a time to visit old friends and relatives and a time of relationship renewal. To me it is all of these. I love the traditions, the music, the joy, in fact I love it all. In my house we will have a Christmas tree, play Christmas music, have Christmas drinks, and feast on Christmas foods. There will be Christmas stockings and Christmas wreaths hung. It will be a Christmas festival.
Christmas is of course a Federal holiday. That means our government recognizes the day as special and sets it aside as a day of celebration. For those very few who feign offense by the religious nature of Christmas, deal with it. If you are offended, you don’t have to participate. Sit alone in your home, pull your shades down and shut out the world. The rest of us are going to have a party. You are invited but you don’t have to come. That is your choice.
In my research I’ve learned, among other things, that Christmas means “The Mass of Christ.” Hence the term Christmas. I am completely comfortable with that definition. It has served me for my entire lifetime and I plan to continue in that belief. As a Christian, I accept many things on faith. I don’t have to have scientific evidence. Whether Christ was born on Dec. 25 or Sept. 15 is not relevant to me. I just don’t care. It’s not the date that’s important, it’s the event.
Today the vast majority of the world accepts Christmas as a religious holiday. Most celebrate it as the birth of the Christ Child. The Christmas traditions of countries are, of course, as different as the countries themselves. Most have a Santa Claus or some close facsimile. Many have the tradition of gift-giving. But to most of the world, Christmas is a religious holiday. There will always be a small minority who will be offended. Some are just joyless individuals who crave attention. Some are haters who want to spoil the party for the rest of us. I suspect most are people who got coal in their stockings when they were children and have never gotten over it. How sad.
I recognize others also celebrate holidays during this time of year. Jews have Chanukah, and some other groups celebrate Kwanzaa. I think that’s marvelous, but neither has anything to do with Christmas. Christmas is a separate holiday.
This is my favorite time of the year. I refuse to allow anyone or anything to spoil it for me. I don’t care that retailers start advertising Christmas before Thanksgiving. That just means it soon will be here. I love the fact Christmas music is played from November on. It is some of my favorite music. I appreciate the cards and the personal letters that arrive in the mail. They are like visits from family and old friends.
Even Ebenezer Scrooge decided, after his frightening night with ghosts, to keep Christmas forevermore. I hope Christmas is as special to you as it is to me and we wish you the Merriest of Christmases this year and forevermore.