Christmas is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. People prepare for it right after Thanksgiving by immediately putting up their tree and decking their halls with bells and ribbons. Radio stations start playing Christmas carols 24/7 and Freeform starts their 25 Days of Christmas movie countdown. Stores have been displaying Christmas decorations for months. It's no wonder people get caught up in the commercialism that this day has become. Of course, I love all of the little traditions that have come from this day; however, this will not stop me from remembering what this day is really all about.
*Cue Linus' Speech From Charlie Brown*
Okay, I know that is a very cheesy scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas, but the words spoken are so true and are the reason I have truly been thinking about the meaning of Christmas recently.
In the Christian church, Christmas is the celebration of a miracle. It is the day that Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem to the Virgin Mary and Joseph. When you wake up on Christmas morning, it's okay to get swept up in exchanging and opening presents all morning. If you can, you should go to Mass so you can hear the Gospel about the day and remember why we celebrate this day.
Christmas is also about family and your loved ones. While it is very nice and thoughtful to buy them a nice present that they want, the best gift they could have is your love. If you can not see certain friends or family during this holiday, call them to let them know you love them and are thinking about them. This will go a long way. Make sure to keep your loved ones close to your heart and appreciate them every day, not just during the holiday season.
Christmas is also about giving back to others. Many people who are fortunate get to have amazing Christmas mornings in their warm house, surrounding by family, food, and presents. Unfortunately, there are people who do not have the means to celebrate Christmas. Some people do not even have the luxury of proper shelter or clothing. If you are able to donate food or clothing to people in need, you could be making their holiday season better than they ever thought. Giving to people who are less fortunate than you is what God would have wanted.
It's not wrong to want to celebrate Christmas in the traditional sense. I love and want to continue my family's traditions well into my 80's. But on Christmas morning, take a moment, either by yourself or as a family, and think about what Christmas really is all about. It is about love, friends, family, God, and even loving people who you do not know.