The true meaning of Christmas


Sharing a little of the little we have

Christmas is here again and as usual we may be busy preparing to celebrate this occasion in ways special and unique to each one of us. It is sad that over the years this important day has lost its true meaning and significance due to the over-commercialization of the festival.

To many of us today Christmas is just a day to celebrate by decorating our homes with the Christmas tree with lights and ornaments, adorn new clothes, exchange costly gifts and have luxurious parties and banquets, drinking and dancing and merry making. Fortunately in the process we give some donations and food to the poor and needy. 
 
Is Christmas all about decorating our homes, feasting and partying? Is it all about enjoying ourselves with friends and relatives? If we think so then we are wrong and losing sight if its true meaning. Christmas may be a celebration of Christ’s birthday but is much more than all these physical rituals that we perform to mark that birthday.


The first ever Christmas on earth was celebrated over 2 thousand years ago in Bethlehem when Jesus was born in a stable fit for the sheep and cattle as there was no place for Him in any inn. It was celebrated by poor shepherds keeping vigil watching over their flock at night out in the wilderness of a cold winter. There was no celebration, feasting or dancing. All that was there was solemnity in an environment of simplicity and humility.

The shepherds who celebrated the first Christmas were poor and had nothing to offer the newborn and his parents. All they could afford to give them was a place in their humble abode, a stable which was also their home. They shared with Mary and Joseph all they had without any conditions, knowing very well they are not going to repay them in any way. 

That first Christmas ever celebrated on earth signifies three things that we must incorporate into our celebration of Christmas today to make it more meaningful:

1. Sharing – It is not the amount or what we give is important but the way we give that matters. It is the willingness in the heart to share the little we have is what it counts and that giving must unconditional even to those whom we know will not be able to repay us in the future.All of us, including the poorest of the, have some blessings that we can share with others but do we have the heart to do so?

2. Simplicity – The poor shepherds who celebrated the first Christmas were simple folks with no air of luxury around them. They had very little to give Him and they shared all they had with a sincere heart without any conditions knowing well at that this that child of a poor carpenter will not pay them back anyway

3. Humility – What was Jesus, whom we believe is our God, Lord and Master, trying to tell us by choosing to be born in an environment of extreme poverty? Jesus in choosing to be born among the shepherds in a stable was a symbol of humility at its highest which should a lesson for all of as we celebrate Christmas this year.

We know that Christmas is a season of sharing and giving and we often without fail year after year take great pains to share what we have with our family, friends and relatives. But how willing are we in wanting to share the same with strangers, the downtrodden and those we know may never cross our paths again?

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, let us bear in mind these three virtues of humility, simplicity and sharing that were the hallmarks of the birth of Jesus. We need to celebrate this important occasion but at the same time we must not forget the many around us wh