Why Christmas is Important

Friday, 22 December 2006

IS IT CHRISTMAS trees, gifts, snow, decorations, Santa Claus, Reindeer…

Or, three magicians on camels (with gold, frankincense and myrrh) follow a star to a stable where a virgin gives birth leaning against a column amidst straw and animals.

  • Is Christmas too commercial? Has it lost its meaning? What is the real meaning of Christmas? Has it any value — and has it any value for non-Christians?

These are good and important questions — and they need answered once and for all!

Amazingly enough, Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” has all the answers if you care to look.

It is a very well-known and familiar tale — mean old Ebenezer Scrooge and the three spirits — the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.

[Picture of Scrooge]Let me explain what I mean when I say that it has all the answers: to begin with, if you do not welcome Christmas, if you do not celebrate, why, then you stand accused of being “a Scrooge“!

Who wants to be that? There is, however, much truth in the idea of not-wanting-to-be a “scrooge”. To go with the flow, to join in, to accept and welcome the party, the fun, the feasting, the festivities, to share in the love — just for one time in the year, can that be such a bad thing? If you forget who you are, and get into the Christmas Spirit along with everyone else… that it is not religion; it is humanity, the essence of society: brotherly love.

Secondly, as Dickens points out, Christmas is not a symbolic thing or an abstract representation or anything complex — it is about YOUR LIFE — your life now, what you were and what you might become. His ghosts are naught but a reminder of this truth.

[Picture of Drama and comedy masks]You see, Christmas is, and will always be, a weird mixture of love and hate, of sadness and happiness, this is because it is significantly popular and therefore impossible to avoid. The result is that you can always remember past Christmas holidays — especially when you were especially happy or especially sad.

Then each year you are reminded of those events — the loves lost, the gifts given and received, the family, the friends, the living and the dead.

Christmas is hard to pin down BECAUSE IT CHANGES CONSTANTLY — it is OK to hate Christmas, but one day you may have children, and it is possible that you will review that opinion, remember that you might one day be in love at that time and love changes everything!

I have had a sad Christmas or two, I have also had fabulous times over that period. It has taken me years of suffering, or thinking, rationalising, fighting against it, avoiding it, and even pretending it didn’t matter or even exist to come to the realisation that there are few significant dates that mark out (and indeed map out) your life as effectively as Christmas.

So if you are a Christian, by all means remember that religious aspect, but be wise enough to embrace the rest too — the good, the bad and the ugly; and don’t be a party-pooping old Scrooge!

If you are not a Christian, then understand that you cannot un-Christmas Christmas! Put aside political correctness and religious differences (or indifferences), and embrace the secular fellowship of a paper crown and a feast fit for a king for one day in the year; it’ll do you the power of good!

Reserve some time to look back at your Christmas times of old, and make plans for future Christmas holidays to be as happy and as loving as humanly possible. It can be done; after all, the Germans and the Brits stopped having a world war for one day — Christmas Day — and that’s quite remarkable, don’t you agree?.

Merry Christmas!

4 Responses to “Why Christmas is Important”

  1. I hope you all have a great day and hope to see you all here again after Christmas. Merry Xmas!

  2. This is truly a great blog! Keep on posting such interesting subjects! I already bookmarked your blog and I will recommend it to some of my friends. James Spade from http://HealthReviews.org

  3. [d]aniel Says:

    I like the observation about how Dickens’ conception of Christmas is not one of some dated religious observance, but in part a cultural phenomenon that affects you and which you can influence as well. It is, in my opinion, a very liberating and democratic way to conceive of Christmas.

  4. rtone Says:

    Thanks for the nice comments!

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