When I saw how the whole word is making use of the various festivals in order to increase their sales, I felt that there was a need to remind ourselves about the true meaning of why we have the festivals in the first place. While we tend to celebrate in different ways, most of the festivals have a religious significance we need to remember before we stress about the decorations, shopping, gifting, elaborate spreads, etc.
So, here is the true meaning of the festival I celebrate.
Christmas (according to us Christians) is the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The word ‘Christmas’ means the ‘mass of Jesus Christ’. A mass service is a gathering of people who pray to God, Jesus or/and Mother Mary and includes the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The Christmas mass is generally held at midnight because it is believed that Jesus was born at midnight. Of course, in many places, due to safety issues, the midnight mass takes place as early as 19:00 hours on the 24th of December. There are various theories about why Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December, every year. Read more about it here.
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE CALL IT XMAS? DO THEY WANT TO CUT CHRIST OFF FROM THEIR LIVES? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT!
The true meaning of Christmas is LOVE. The aim is to give up thinking about yourself and bring happiness to those around you without expecting anything in return.
Christmas is a festival of spending quality time with your loved ones. Instead of stressing yourself over expensive gifts, I’m sure your kids will love if you gifted them with your time. We, generally, spend Advent doing simple Christmas projects like decorating pine cones or making greeting cards for friends. This time we created a family tree. This included the 59 forefathers of Jesus. We also wrote what each decoration represented and stuck them to cut-outs or drawings of the symbols.
Click to get ideas on how to teach your kids the true meaning of Christmas!
Red, gold, silver and green are being used to symbolize Christmas for ages now. The red symbolizes the blood that Jesus shed for us. The silver and gold symbolize the rich blessings that we receive in life. The green reminds us that trees and nature are an important part of our existence.
Have you ever wondered why certain items are used as decorations during Christmas? Here is a list of decorations (with their meanings) that are either hung on the tree or placed around the house.
God loves us and gave us His only begotten son. Gifts are reminders that we should always remember to thank God for giving us a precious gift – His son Jesus. In the spirit of Christmas, we should make it a point to sponsor or give gifts to the poor and needy.
It is believed that St. Boniface, in the 8th century, used the triangular shape of the fir tree to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) as a single unified entity. The pure green colour of the royal and respectful fir tree remains intact all year round, thereby representing the everlasting hope of mankind.
Tinsel streamers and decorative lights both represent the starry night sky when Jesus was born. Before electricity, in order to light up the Christmas tree, tinsel was used to reflect the flickering of the house candle lights. After the coming of electricity, we adorn the tree with decorative lights along with tinsel and decorative bulbs.
A Christmas wreath symbolizes the endless love of God for us. In addition, it symbolizes how true love has no beginning or end.
The star was the heavenly sign of the arrival of Jesus, as God had promised. The star symbolizes the fulfilment of God’s promise of sending the Saviour for the world.
This represents the shepherd’s crook. The crook on the staff helps the shepherd to bring back the strayed sheep to the flock. Therefore, the candy cane is a reminder that we should take care of our brothers and sisters.
The candle symbolizes Jesus Christ who is the light of the world. The candle reminds us how Jesus removes us from darkness (the clutches of the devil) and brings us into the light (the hands of God).
The sharp holly leaves represent the crown of thorns worn by Jesus. The red berries represent the blood shed by Him for us.
The lost sheep are found by the sound of the bells hung around their necks. The bell symbolizes the guidance and return of mankind to God.
They are the ones who gave the good news, to the shepherds, about the birth of our Saviour, by singing ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will’.
Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) was a kind and loving man who helped those in need. He symbolizes the generosity and good that we feel during the Christmas season.
The Christmas bow, and its red colour, symbolizes the eternal bonds of goodwill that bind us and our loved ones together.
The Nativity Scene is the official term for what we commonly refer to as the Christmas Crib. It is built to represent the humble birth of Jesus Christ, as He was born in a stable and placed in a manger. It exhibits the Holy Family (his parents with Him), the shepherds (the first humble visitors) and the animals that surrounded Him, and also the angels who announced His birth. No one knows exactly when the three wise men followed the star and visited Jesus to worship him. But, the star and three kings, with their gifts, are part of the crib to represent their legendary and historical journey to meet the Son of God.
Carols are festive songs which were sung in Europe thousands of years ago. They became more associated with Christmas and the nativity only in the late Middle Ages. I’m sure many of you have come across the song ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’. Click on the link to know the real meaning of this song. Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol? Tell us in the comments below. You can listen to some of them here.
We all throw and attend Christmas parties year after year. But, what is the real idea of getting together with family and friends? No, it is not to eat, drink and dance. Christmas is a time to get together with loved ones and share the love, peace and joy of Christmas. Families and close friends come together to pray and give thanks to our Creator for sending His only son to save us. This is the time to forgive those you’ve had misunderstandings with and unite with them.
While you celebrate Christmas this year, do remember what Christmas really means. Did this post increase your knowledge about the true meaning of Christmas, décor and a party? Let me know in the comments below.
This write up is compiled by my mom and myself!