THE TRUE MEANING OF CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS
Have you ever thought about the true meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it? Is it exchanging gifts or spending time with your family and friends or is it a holy time of remembrance and adoration? Some would say it’s all of the above. I’m guessing that it has to be more than decorating a Christmas tree or waiting for Santa to drop down the chimney with his bag of presents. For me it’s a time of memories from all of the Christmases of my past. Kind of like when the ghost of Christmas Past took Scrooge on a trip down memory lane.
I remember the long hours my mother spent placing lights and ornaments on our Christmas trees. Then she hung lead tinsel, one strip at a time, on every tree branch. It looked gorgeous. She often reminded me that God sees the entire tree and that meant that the back of the tree should look as beautiful as the front. This put a lot of pressure on me because it was my job to decorate [wait for it] the back of the tree. I believe that I was seven when I first picked up that task. Funny how some things stay with you...I can still hear my mother telling me about the side of the tree less seen. To this day, I take the same care decorating every side of my trees.
My father would help “proof” (his words) the eggnog. We had two different eggnogs, one for me and one that I wasn’t allowed to touch. In those days, eggnog was made from scratch, not bought in a wax-impregnated carton. It was thick and we put real whipped cream on top. Funny, I remember that the more they drank their “special” eggnog the happier they became. I also fondly remember playing with my American Flyer train set until mother made me go to bed.
However, back to my original question; why do we celebrate Christmas? Did you know that the earliest records mention a feast held in the Church at Alexandria, Egypt, around AD 200, to honor the Nativity? The celebration of Christmas did not become a church-wide celebration until the late third and early fourth centuries. It took many hundreds of years before the Western Church’s decided on 25 December to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s funny how an event that took place thousands of years ago has made such a strong impact on our daily lives. Gift giving harkens back to the Three Wise Men who brought gifts to a baby in a manger. Did they receive something in return…you bet they did…a blessing from God that they took back to their people and spread the news that Christ the Savior was born. We do the same thing when we exchange presents with loved ones or do a kindness to a total stranger.
I want to wish each of you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
I will begin blogging about my writing journey after New Years. I have been hard at work on book two of my trilogy and it is almost finished. I am excited to start writing the final book because I have several more stories that I want to pen.
Now for some fun. If you want to track Santa’s location as he circles the earth check out this NORAD site. It’ll keep you and your children up-to-date on his location.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR