Is Christmas Day Anticlimactic?
Every year Christmas day will come. For many the preparations are many. Such as decorating their homes inside and out, buying gifts for loved ones, and planning the events that come along with the holiday. Christmas parties at friends’ homes, parties with our companies of employment and thanking people for their kindnesses during the year.
But where does this holiday really come from? Oh yes, I know people understand that it is about the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger with humble beginnings. It is the date the Church marks to celebrate his birthday and start the new church calendar year. It is only just that the beginning of the church calendar should start on the date of acknowledgment of the founder’s birthday. Then it begins.
But why do we give gifts? Some look to the Three Wise Men who brought the infant child who would be King; gold, frankincense and myrrh. They recognize who he is and what it meant to the people of the world. They knew that nothing would be the same after the infant child would grow old enough to make known his true purpose. Even they with their worldly knowledge did not discern the true purpose. They did not realize that the world would change.
The gift giving tradition which was accredited to have begun over 1500 years ago by a Christian Bishop by the name of Nicholas in what is now known as modern day Turkey. The birthday of Christ was set to be celebrated at the same time the pagans celebrated the winter solstice. This is of no consequence as ST. Nicholas did this out of his Christi love for the poor and needy. Still the real meanings lies deeper I believe.
The gift giving to each other is a symbol of the gift that God gave us on this earth. The god-man that came down to live with us to teach us the truth of what real love is. The truth of that love is a sacrifice and concern for our neighbors while always remembering our own lives are also a gift from God himself. Jesus Christ taught us that if we are to love we must learn to do it even unto death. He killed the selfishness that existed in the world at the time. He raised the Jewish tradition of love and concern for family to include all men of the world as they were born by God’s will. Jesus was a Jew who changed the world knowing from the moment he entered it he would have to give His life to do it. The true gift he gave us was He and the light which His light which we need every day to live in joy on this world and in exultation with God in the next.
To answer my question; “is Christmas anticlimactic?” I pose to you that it cannot be. This is simply because it is only the beginning of our walk with Christ Jesus. We prepare for Christmas day by day sacrificing little bits and pieces of our lives for others, with prayer and good will. If we have done this when the day comes it is not anything like getting to the end of a show. Instead it is more like being at the gates to a beautiful paradise with hills and valleys that we know we will need to traverse over and over again until we achieve the true end of our work on earth. That is to create a peace and love on earth which knows no bounds.
Only one human being has been able to do this and it is His birth which we acknowledge during the twelve days of Christmas. But the gift we have given should not end on when Christmas ends but should continue for all 365 days of the year. However, there is no harm done in giving in a sign of the gift of love we all wish for and should try to grant everyone we meet.
Copyright 2015 Miguel Perez-Santalla