Is the ‘REAL’ meaning of Christmas ignored during the Christmas holidays?
Standing in the cold all night to overpower others into a store? Knocking others out of the pathway to ‘be first’ at an advertised sale on electronics? Shopping for days in masses of people?
Is any of that even relevant to the celebration of Christmas?
The Christian meaning of Christmas, according to Wikipedia.com, celebrates the Nativity of Jesus. Origins of related traditions, such as Santa Claus, Christmas trees, Christmas lights, Christmas decorations, poinsettia, mistletoe, garland, holly, wreaths, angels, bells, candles, candy canes, Christmas ornaments, stockings, traditional family meal and gift giving are defined in the discussion, Christmas.
Nativity of Jesus in art in Wikipedia.com illustrates paintings of various religious scenes, stating, “The artistic depictions of the Nativity or birth of Jesus, celebrated at Christmas, are based on the narratives in the Bible, in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and further elaborated by written, oral and artistic tradition.”
Following Christian beliefs regarding the meaning of Christmas, wikipedia.com states “traditional colors of Christmas are green and red. White, silver and gold are also popular. Red symbolizes the blood of Jesus, which was shed in his crucifixion, while green symbolizes eternal life, and in particular the evergreen tree, which does not lose its leaves in the winter.”
Religious explanations for origins of Christmas colors are provided in The Colors of Christmas at whychristmas.com.
Wikepedia suggests a possible origin for ‘gift giving’ at Christmas. “Popular tradition also holds that three kings or wise men (named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar) visited the infant Jesus in the manger, though this does not strictly follow the Biblical account. The Gospel of Matthew instead describes a visit by an unspecified number of magi, or astrologers, sometime after Jesus was born while the family was living in a house (Matthew 2:11), who brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the young child Jesus.” Regardless, the gifts celebrated the birth of Jesus; there was no exchange of gifts.
An article by Andrea Sachs, Why We shouldn’t Give Christmas Gifts, questions the logic of buying Christmas presents for others. Sachs interviews Joel Waldfogel, author of Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays.
Rev. William T. Kidd expresses doubt about ‘gift giving at Christmas’ in his article, Why Do We Celebrate Christmas? Referring to Christmas shopping, he states, “Where does scripture fit into tradition?”
Whatever the origin, ‘gift giving,’ it seems, may be the least likely to honor the traditional origin of the Christmas celebration. Buying gifts may benefit the economy, but what does ‘buying gifts for each other’ have to do with the birth of Jesus and the celebration of Christmas?
A better way to celebrate Christmas?
Rather than endless shopping, ‘taking our families to church and celebrating Christmas at church seems logical.’
In other words, demonstrating religious values for children – – not standing in line to buy WAR GAMES!