Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.  ~Norman Vincent Peale


Christmas means different things to many people. To believers, Christmas is remembering the birth of Jesus Christ in a humble manger, reminding us that “God so loved the world, He gave up his only son…” To non-believers, it is just a made-up Christian holiday. One of my friends relate it to winter solstice and she actually looks forward to telling her 7-year old daughter about this. Others link it to a most-awaited holiday of the year after a whole year’s hard work. Children, as pitiful as it may sound, connects Christmas to just receiving gifts.

I relate Christmas to the birth of Jesus Christ. This, even when my National Geographic knowledge dictates that, indeed there are more intriguing facts that surround Christmas than just the birth of our saviour. Jesus Christ could even be born in March, historians say, or June, according to astronomers, but I don’t want to entertain these facts  any further. I enjoy Christmas, it’s one of my most favorite days of the year, so I have decided to accept the easiest definition to which I have clinged to since I was young.  Besides, I don’t think it hurts anyone. As far as I’m concerned, Christmas brings more pluses than minuses. Suddenly, at this time of year, everyone is nice and warm. Everything is more beautiful. It even helps the economy! Because suddenly, everybody is buying and wrapping!

As far as I know, Christmas is a day of giving and sharing. And why do we do that? Because someone bigger than us up there gave us something He loved so much. So gratefulness suggests that you pay it forward. This is also why I don’t believe in Santa Claus. My parents tried making us believe in the big fat man in a red suite when we were young when suddenly, gifts appeared under the tree. My mother insisted that it came from Santa Claus. I insisted that it came from her. As I go back to that moment in my young life then, I think we have a better understanding of Christmas then than most children nowadays. At least we did not wake up on Christmas morning just for the gifts. We give gifts because we are paying it forward. So even if my understanding of Christmas is not packed with historic facts, I want to keep it that way. Don’t get me wrong, I find Santa Claus cute and cuddly. (I hope no 12-year-old who still believes in Santa is reading this!)

With the different meanings of Christmas comes the different ways of celebrating it too. Some countries, like the Philippines, celebrate Christmas on the evening of December 24, with a big family feast flowing to the next day, December 25. In the Netherlands, there is traditionally a Christmas dinner on December 25 and a second day of Christmas on December 26. Some countries do not celebrate Christmas at all. It is just a regular day then without work.

But however you celebrate Christmas and whatever it means to you, I hope you have a blessed one. Keep on believing. Christmas is here! #