Christmas is celebrated in numerous ways all over the world. Every culture has added its own flavour to the holiday. Whether it be the Puritina of Guatemala, Las Posadas of Mexico, Holy supper in Ukraine, Parols of the Philippines or the more common traditions such as Carols, Christmas tree, Nativity plays, Christmas Cakes, attending the weekly mass, or yearly mass in some cases etc.. Christmas has evolved more as a Hallmark holiday than any of these cultures ever intended or anticipated.
The heaping of these traditions has diluted the true message of Christmas. Today Christmas is associated more with Saint Nicholas of Lycia (Santa Clause) than with Jesus of Nazareth. I am sure that’s not what Saint Nicholas intended when he started giving gifts to the needy during Christmas time.
But Christmas is more than any of these traditions. It is the day when Jesus Christ came into this world just to die for our sins. Who is this Christ? Some say that he is one of the great prophets, while others say he was just an ordinary man. But Christ is no ordinary man, he is the Son of God, who came down on this earth in flesh and blood just to be a sacrifice for our sins. Not only that, he conquered death by rising from the dead three days after he was crucified. This was in line with what many prophets had foretold nearly 1000 years prior to his birth.
John sums it up immaculately saying that, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” and that’s the reason we celebrate this day. Christmas is indeed a season of giving and it all started when God gave his own Son as an atonement for our sins.
While we may have our own ways of celebrating this great day with our cultural traditions added to it, let’s not undermine the importance or neglect the relevance of this day in each one of our lives.