Closing my eyes, inhaling the harmattan cloaked air, the question, ‘What does Christmas mean to me’, flashes through my mind and almost instantly, a melange of red, green and white scurries past my mind’s eye. The deviously tantalizing, inviting, scintillating, sumptuous and utterly delicious aroma of spiced chicken saunters into my nerves and delights my senses.
Snapping my eyes open, reality barges in and logic questions my illusions. What really is Christmas meant to mean to me? Is it just a period to put on red caps taped with white furs? Or a season to bring out the wreaths, Christmas trees and hang all the colorful lights? Or is it just that time of the year to be festive and merry and indulge in the fattest, tastiest and most succulent chickens?
What is the reason for Christmas? Is it just a time to organise carols and enjoy the melodious chimes of bells and listen endlessly to ‘Feliz Navidad’.
From the religious angle, harping on spiritual doctrines, the Christian doctrine to be precise, Christmas marks the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The one who was born into this turbulent and macabre world and died for us to live, was tortured so we may be saved, was subjected to hostile and brutish treatments so we may be redeemed from the shackles of sin, doom, hell and peril.
That pops the question, ‘What does the birth of Christ signify?’ It signifies salvation; the coming of the Lord to offer eternal life to those willing to be saved. It signifies redemption; redemption of lost souls. It symbolises deliverance; deliverance of humans from the captivity of Lucifer.
If this is what the birth of Christ stands for, what should the celebration of his birth signify? Should it just be a season to sing, eat and dance away time? Should it just be a period to don red and white apparels?
I believe Christmas means more than that. It should be a period to review the significance of the birth of Christ and contribute progressively and actively to that cause. Jesus is the reason for the season. If we are indeed celebrating his birthday, we should honour Him by giving him the best present we can give, which is stepping into His shoes and stretching a hand of love and care to others. Matthew 25: 35-40 clearly paints the picture. Jesus charged us in John 15:12 to love one another as He has loved us. He loved us unconditionally hence his death to redeem us. What love surpasses that? This season is a period to imbue ourselves with selflessness and help those whom we can help.
Help the needy, put smile on faces, spread happiness and paint your community with sincere joy and pure merriment. No act of love is trivial. Help that old man down the street with his car. Help that blind lady on the road. Give out that cloth you no longer need to those kids who’d give anything for it. Share your excesses with those who really need it. Step out of your world and help lighten other people’s world. Someone out there is in need of something and no matter how little you think you have, you can make a difference. That’s when Christmas is really Christmas. Because it’s a season of love, giving, sharing and caring.
This year, I’ve discovered a whole new definition for Christmas which is to extend an arm of love to all in need of it. What’s your definition of Christmas? What does it mean to you?