We went to church last Sunday and I was really touched by the pastors message. As today's commercialism get more and more absurd, we all forget the true meaning of Christmas. Who is this season for and why we are all celebrating it?
First point, Santa Claus Vs. Jesus Christ. Nowadays, most people see Santa Claus as the symbol of Christmas, which is really not supposed to be. Whose billboards are hanging around tall buildings? Who are on all the commercials on TV? Who do children expect to come and give them gifts at Christmas? Answer to all the questions is Santa Claus. Who is Santa Claus anyway? Why are people revering to him more than Jesus during Christmas?
1881 Illustration of Santa Claus by Thomas Nast
Saint Nicholas - is a Saint and the bishop of Myra, part of what is not the modern day Turkey. He came from a wealthy family and had the reputation of secretly giving gifts. He is also the patron saint of sailors. He have supposedly saved life of a young sailor who fell from ship's rigging during storm.
He also have brought to life 3 young boys who have been butchered and placed in a barrel for curing to sell as ham.
Another popular on is the tale of the 3 virgins. A man who is so poor cannot afford dowry for his 3 children. He feared that they wouldn't be able to marry and wouldn't be employed. The only possible thing left for them to do is to be prostitutes. Hearing of the man's plight, Saint Nicholas, helped him. But he was modest and wanted to help the man secretly to avoid embarrassment, he threw gold coins into the 3 socks that were hanging on the fire place. This have been a tradition to a lot of homes up to this time. Hanging socks at doors, windows and fireplaces.
Saint Nicholas is just doing the deeds of the Lord. He is not supposed to be more popular than Jesus Christ, especially on the Lords birthday...
Jesus Christ, was born in a manger. He was clothed in rags and was born with simple parents. Mary and Joseph the carpenter. God the father, gave him to us, to save us from our sins. When in fact all of us are not worthy of it. He is the greatest gift that have been given to us. The gift of forgiveness and eternal life...
Second Point - Gift Giving
Why do we give gifts? What is your purpose in giving gifts? Gift giving has been a tradition especially at Christmas time. We have our exchange gifts and we expect to receive and give gifts to people we know and care about. There are about 5 types of gift giving.
Obligatory - Where you feel the need to give the gift. For example, every Christmas, your God children (Inaanaks) come to your house asking for their gifts. As a dutiful Godparent, you either have prepared a gift for them or give them cash gifts.
Exchange Gifts - Where you give gifts with each other.Like you have exchange gifts at home or at your workplace.
Favor Giving - You give gifts because of a favor done to you.
Sacrificial - Where you sacrifice some of your precious belongings or some of the things you usually do during Christmas and give to the poor instead...
Anonymous - Secretly giving gifts or help to people without disclosing your identity...
Which of these are you? Some people just give gifts because they know if they give, they will also receive. I wonder where the true spirit of Christmas is? Giving without expecting to receive, helping people in need, celebrating the true cause of this season, which is the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.
Third Point - Christmas for us
Who do we love at Christmas? Who do we prioritize? What is Christmas for us?
Christmas now has different meaning for people. Instead of thinking and being happy for the birth of Christ, we have made Christmas as time for worldly things.
Having the much awaited Christmas Vacation Leave for those who are working. Relaxing time, time to go on a tour, receiving/giving gifts, Christmas parties, getting new things and More money from Christmas bonus and gifts from relatives.
Now, where is Jesus Christ in all of this? What is our focus? We should all be grateful. The very best gift given to all of us is not wrapped in fancy gift wrapping, is not expensive, it is eternal but given for us free. Jesus Christ... Now think , What is Christmas for you? How do you celebrate it? What do you teach your children about it? Just a thought... Merry Christmas to all...