What Christmas really means to me?

Come December and it becomes absolutely impossible to forget that Christmas is coming. Coloured lights decorating the town centres and shops, shiny decorations, artificial snow painted on shop windows. Christmas trees installed at various public places, colleges, homes and schools and the excited faces of kids bubbling with unmatched zeal and fervour for the festival, all clearly indicate that the time to eat, drink and be merry of the year, has finally arrived. Being both a ‘Holiday’ and ‘Holy Day’ it is one of the biggest events of the year.

The word ‘Christmas’ comes from the words ‘Cristes Maesse’ or Christ’s mass. It is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Jesus Christ; the birth of Lord of Humanity took place at the most so humane place in a strange way at the stable. But he was the very first present that Mother Mary herself wrapped.

Christ means Messiah or Anointed One – the title given to Jesus, who came as a humble, poor person and not as a strong, rich being. This is where lies the importance of this festival, a glorious event full of glorious past. If one knows about Christmas, they’ll actually know it’s importance in their lives as it is a day that brings hope, aspirations, glory and happiness in everybody’s life.

Christmas is TENDERNESS for the PAST, COURAGE for the PRESENT, and HOPE for the FUTURE. It is a fervent WISH that every CUP may OVERFLOW with blessings rich and eternal, and that EVERY PATH may lead to PEACE.

We’ve heard that the Magic of Christmas is NOT in the presents but in HIS presence. We have Christmas because God loved us and gave the best gift ever, JESUS! Now, that’s something I know to be true. Jesus has a birthday, just as you and I do, and I will always continue to recognize it as just that. We need to stop and reflect awhile remembering the precious Lord, His birth, His life and sacrifice and all that He stands for. For though the world may celebrate, it seems though for other reasons. Let’s keep in mind that Jesus Christ is the real reason of the Christmas season.

I haven’t had a chance to celebrate Christmas like my Christian friends would do. Firstly in India, we don’t have the biggest and wonderful celebrations on Xmas the way it happens in other western countries. People celebrate Christmas, but they aren’t sure of the gaiety it brings to one’s heart. I’d also wish I had Christian friends. Now, the only way I’m able to celebrate Xmas is by watching some Xmas movies (which is my favourite part) and visiting the church. (Oh, by the way, Scrooge and Home Alone 1, 2 are my all-time favourite). Even though I’m a Hindu but I grew up believing in Christ and every year, around this time of the year, I feel like I’m my happiest self, than I’ve ever been in the entire year.

Back in the school days, at this time of year – Christmastide – joy, gaiety, happiness pervaded the school atmosphere. Now, I miss being a witness to all those Xmas celebrations. The Psalms; candle lightning; depiction of Nativity of Christ; singing those Christmas Carols; seeing the flocks of kids dressed up as Santa, dancing to the tune of “Santa Claus is coming to town.” And the icing on the cake was the Xmas Party. In a way, there was nothing quite like it, nothing that ever fell short of pure Christmas magic. Although it’s not the same anymore, yet the very spirit of Christmas celebration still exhilarates me.

Last to last year, I was at the Cathedral, I came across a poor old woman with a stoop; an old man with no warm clothes on, in the harsh winter weather, and then a helpless dwarf lady with defective limbs. My heart wrenched for a second, and then I chose to give away some of the little money I had with me to each one of them. They, in return gave me a wonderful thing, their blessings. And so, I felt my purpose for this Christmas was done, the very spirit of which is ‘giving.’ And perhaps, the best gift we can give to someone in need is a little kindness. So, I’ve made kindness a way of my life and with family, friends, roof, food, clothing, gadgets and gizmos, we’ve received more than we could ask for. Least we can do is share these blessings with the ones who needs hope this Christmas.

Without celebrations, without presents, without a Christmas tree, and without snow, my Christmas is each year filled with Christ. For me, it is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving cannot be put away, way the bells and lights and tinsel are put away in some box upon a shelf. But, in my heart, I will always dream of a “WHITE CHRISTMAS.

Yes, before we know it, Christmas will be over and we’ll return to old routines. But the kindness for others, like that shown by WestJet recently where the passengers were asked about ‘What do they want, from Santa?” During the commute of the flight, WestJet sent teams to buy presents, even a large television set for a family. The families were handed over the gifts with their names labelled thereon. Now, everyone will think that the gifts are the real presents. I’d like to believe, it was the “Kindness” which is so uncommon these days. But, I know people are doing random acts of kindness each day. Kudos to them!

And I think it doesn’t need to stop. As Christmas comes to a conclusion, will we continue to live this New Year showing others the same love of Christ?

If there is one lesson you can take away from this season of goodwill, let it be this lesson from the classic Christmas film Scrooge:-

‘We act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more.

For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people we always hoped we would be.’

There’s a different vibrant energy that surrounds us in this festive holiday season. I kind of feel the magic even when I’m the only one in my family believing in this festival. My brother feels the same way now, so I have a company to talk about stuff like ‘The Passion of Christ (watch it if you haven’t… Has the potential to break you into tears… Many see an actor in it but I felt as if it was Christ himself in Jim Caviezel)’, ‘Carols’ and school Christmas day functions and nativity plays.

I always had some affinity towards the Christian stuff and I often talk, write or share about it. None of the things I do would make me a Christian. I was born a Hindu and would remain so. But my religion doesn’t define me. In any part of the world, any person should be allowed to embrace whatever tenets they believe in. Quit judging! Quit hating! Quit condemning! 

There is only ever one thing I learnt about the Yuletide spirit, it was about embracing someone with love that will be enough for you and them. 

On Christmas 2015, I was able to break the monotony as I went (like an unwanted guest) to visit a Christian lady living across the lane. It was only because my brother told me the other day that the Carol’s singers and Santa had come the other day. And that night, I passed by her house and though to myself, ‘It’s their one major festival in the year and in the season of merry making and joy, without the presence of guests, even the well lit and decorated house looks silent.

As planned, I went on and wished her a ‘Happy Christmas.’ She went inside and brought me cake and we conversed and she told me that she always wishes everyone in the block, to which I said, ‘Ma’am, I feel it should be the other way round. People should come and wish you. Well, she felt happy and hugged me.

To many it seems that I always have my head up on my own but to a handful, what I share, matters. This is for them and I think doing something as little this is what we all can do and we all must. The true meaning of ‘Christ’mas is in YOUR presence. Spread the love. ❤

So, reach out to someone today and make their day! You can go to a children’s hospital, or the home for the old, give them a flower or two. It’s all up to you!

Here’s a small poem to highlight the never-ending meaning of Xmas

In the heavens,

The angels were filled with delight;

As Jesus was born at sharp midnight.

When the people came to know of it,

They were filled with immense joy,

And all went to take a glance at the baby boy.

Since then, we continue to celebrate Christmas.

As Jesus, the Savior was born.

And so this festival is a mark of happiness

As all the gloom and sadness was gone.

And so the time has come to sing and dance

But this is not the last chance.

Make merry and be gay,

Celebrate Christmas every day.

[Ps: My fellow Christian friends, as you’re well aware by now, I’m not a Christian by birth. I might have stated something incorrect in my post. Please forgive me for that! But leave a comment so that I know.] 🙂

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