What is Christmas all about?

Is it all about Santa Claus, gifts and prepare your favorite Christmas dish or is there something more?
by Thomas Flynn | Source: Catholic.net

A Christmas Crisis

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! That’s right, it’s time for you to climb up into the attic and pull down the light-up Santa with his team of reindeers, while wondering how you can get it up on the roof without electrocuting yourself. It’s the moment when children make their wish lists of all the gizmos and gadgets they want, in hope that a robust man in red will grant their every desire. Trees are trimmed, cut, and laced with a string of glowing white lights. But, before you decorate your halls with boughs of holly, allow me to ask a simple question. What is Christmas all about?

   Why is Christmas the most wonderful time of the year? Stores stock their shelves with marvelous merchandise hoping to catch your eye on a good buy, as you hear "Jingle Bell Rock" pour out their doors onto a busy sidewalk. A train mechanically clanks around the floor of your living room delivering best wishes for a happy holiday. But could Christmas be more than this?

   Christmas is a time for family. It’s the moment when you finally get back in touch with brothers and sisters who seem to live so far away that they can’t be reached by email or cell phone. It’s that yearly event of watching football with Grandpa as he sips the eggnog he himself made. Your big sister sits down at the piano and strikes out the melody to "White Christmas", while Christmas cards and newsletters stream in from friends and family, keeping you up to date on the happenings of another year. Sure, Christmas is a time for families to get together, yet, is that what Christmas is all about?

   Christmas is a sparkle season. It’s a mystical time when snowmen come alive and stand guard on front lawns in their black top hats and carrot noses. Adults turn into children as they are gathered up with the spirit of finding the perfect gift for their loved ones. Afternoons are spent shopping and wrapping gifts while Bing Crosby sings of silver bells. Could this be Christmas?

   Christmas is cookie tasting and carol singing. It’s that time of year when primetime TV shows the traditional tale of a claymation reindeer with a glowing red nose. Ornaments are placed amongst tinsel and popcorn string to cover up a Douglas fur, full of aroma. Kids begin their candy-cane collection and everyone seems to be "simply having a wonderful Christmas time", whatever that means. Is this what Christmas is about?

   What do chestnuts roasting on an open fire, or visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, have to do with Christmas? Where do little elves, fruit cake, poinsettias, the Grinch, ginger-bread men, and polar bears drinking Coca-Cola fit in? They say the Grinch stole Christmas, but what did he take? A tree, toys, decorations, and a turkey? The Grinch did not steal Christmas. Society did.

   The true meaning of Christmas has been slowly taken away and replaced by "holly-jolly" thoughts and "fa-la-la-la-la-ing." A manger scene is removed from public view and replaced by a large man with white whiskers and a bag full of trinkets. Warm wishers of a Merry Christmas now grant you their Season’s Greetings. Our attention is drawn to a little drummer boy, instead of the King he plays before. Amidst all this, it seems like there is something missing. You guessed it. A missing child.

   What is Christmas all about? "I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." (Luke 2:10).

A star in the sky points to a great event that is taking place. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born in a stable, has come to save us. He is Emmanuel (God is with us). In his humility and love we find the real meaning of Christmas. Before we set up a Santa Claus or prepare our favorite Christmas dish, let’s prepare our hearts to receive Christ this year.

What is Christmas all about? Christmas is all about Jesus Christ.

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