March 2, 2024

The word “Christmas” is an etymology of the phrase “Christ’s Mass.” And, the Christ being referred to is Jesus Christ. When referring to Christ’s Mass, it makes specific reference to the Eucharist which is the most important part of the liturgical mass.
It is that part where the body and blood of Christ, which was sacrificed to atone for the sins of the world and redeem the souls of humanity, is commemorated. It is important because it is then that God and men are reconciled through the death of the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Being an act of spiritual reconciliation, Christ’s Mass or Christmas is a religious and cultural celebration among billions of Christians around the world. It is a commemoration of the nativity of Christ Jesus who, primarily, came as a messiah to save the world from being condemned by God. He is “the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world.”
The usual activities to commemorate the sacred day were solemn, religious and spiritual.
In the olden days, these were characterized by prayers, fasting and sacrifices. Though this was the case, it cannot be denied that anything associated with Jesus Christ has an element of love and generosity into it. It was because of this principle that sharing became integral in the celebration of Christmas.
Nonetheless, the sharing that was contemplated was limited to the emotional joy and happiness that can be given. There was nothing material about it.
It was only when the fiction of Santa Claus and all others who were tasked to bring joy and happiness that the concept of sharing was altered. It was then that bringing joy and happiness had to be tangible like gifts, if Santa Claus had to be an effective messenger. Even then, gift giving during Christmas was a children’s affair meaning, only children were supposed to receive material gifts since they had a vague appreciation and undertaking of what spiritual gifts are.
Santa Claus and the giving of gifts were, therefore exploited by unscrupulous businessmen to entice adults to give and receive gifts, as well. If it brings joy to children, why not also to adults, who, even in their advanced age, always have a child in them? The bait worked and it shows. Every year, when Christmas is celebrated, there is an increase in economic activity that all that is left to do is partying, gift giving, eating, drinking and acts that have nothing to do with the original concept of Christmas. Very ironic.
As years go by, the meaning and essence of Christmas is slowly deviating from what was contemplated when Jesus Christ was born. It is becoming secularized that the Christmas we celebrate now is as pagan as the worship of the sun. It is no longer commemorative of the birth of Jesus Christ. Rather, it is a selfish act where people count their gifts instead of their blessings. The solemnity is gone and only the merry part is all that matters. It is short of removing Christ from Christmas. It is for this reason that even non-Christians revel in Christmas and celebrate it with gusto.
If we want a meaningful Christmas, maybe we have to revisit it and examine our conscience. Maybe, we have to go back to the basics so that every time we say Merry Christmas, it is with Jesus Christ in mind and not the gifts that we receive.
In this regard, I genuinely and spiritually greet Merry Christmas! May Christ be in your heart.