image by the half-blood prince
December is not only the most eventful month of the whole year, but the perfect month during which people can deeply reflect about their spirituality, about life, about the year that has passed, especially since there are so many non-working holidays and it’s Christmas break for us students.
In Theology class, Father reminded us that Christmas is supposed to be celebrating the miraculous birth of a baby boy 2009 years ago who was destined to save humanity. If people are merely celebrating Christmas for love, joy, and peace, Father said they must make another holiday, celebrating love and joy and peace. I giggled at his way of putting it.
He also said some interesting things about Christmas traditions we all have grown accustomed to. Candy canes symbolize Joseph’s cane, where the white is for purity and red is for blood. Wreaths signify eternity. Christmas trees are originally fir trees with green leaves all year that mark God’s everlasting love. Although nowadays, we see white, red Christmas trees, and brightly multi-colored candy canes. We worry about what gifts to give, and stress over gaining weight during the endless parties, amidst holiday ham, sweets, and fruitcake.
Father’s remarks made me wonder how one should really celebrate Christmas. I feel that it’s ironic that we celebrate Christmas but never even once do I hear my family and relatives during Christmas Eve talk about Jesus Christ, wishing him a happy birthday, wherever in heaven He is now.
All these beautiful hidden meanings make me feel guilty that I have been seeing Christmas only on a superficial level. What more are we missing? Christmas is already magical when one looks at the Christmas lights, the night masses that’s special in the Philippines, the shine on one’s eyes as she receives a parcel wrapped in red and green. What more when we think about the miracle of Jesus’s birth, about the hidden metaphors in the Bible story, about why there are twelve days of Christmas, why we celebrate Christmas on December 25, why couples kiss under the mistletoe, why do we deck the halls with boughs of holly (As much as I want to explain the rest here, it would be fun to do your own research)?
Instead, we talked about how the baked salmon and the chicken pot pie were utterly delicious over bottles of red wine. We laughed and about the littlest, craziest matters. Most of the attention fell on my aunt’s own little baby boy Carr, who turned a year old this month. This Christmas Eve became a little more lively with a new member of the family, watching him struggle to balance on his feet, slowly learning to walk by himself. He, like baby Jesus, is so young and innocent, full of infinite possibilities.
Having said all this, I may want to disagree with Father, even just a bit. Maybe Christmas is not just about Jesus Christ. It could also be a time to celebrate life that God (whoever one believes) has given us, and the love that He wants human beings to share and feel. Christmas is also about giving and sharing what we have, to those who need it more. Who says there is only one way of celebrating Christmas?
Christmas will forever be my favorite season. Even though I wish we have winter in Manila, that one day I would wake up seeing snowflakes falling from our window wearing woolen gloves and socks (sewn by Mrs. Weasley??), while I sip on a warm cup of coffee, a Starbucks limited edition Christmas blend. Get it while it lasts, it’s worth the sweet treat. It’s Christmas in a cup. Don’t forget to share! ;)
Merry Christmas everyone! May God bless each and every one of us.
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
– Norman Vincent Peale