What does Christmas mean to me? Actually the short answer to that is “Nothing”. Really. Nothing.
The hyped-up commercialization of Christmas where everyone, from family members to colleagues, Christians or otherwise, exchange gifts while uttering ‘Merry Christmas’ has made this day where we commemorate the birth of Christ, into a feel-good merry-making event that has missed the mark by a far stretch.
A quick visit to the Daiso store yesterday for some stationery, seeing the snaking queue of people holding cheap gifts and gaudy wrappers and a quick drive past Orchard Road, reading the seemingly ‘meaningful’ but shallow slogan from a prominent mall, ‘Believe in the magic of the Season’ again affirm my sentiments that Christmas has become meaningless.
No religious celebration has totally missed its mark by an epic level much like Christmas…followed closely by its ‘cousin’ – Easter. I think you get it by now that the Christmas now, compared to 2000 years ago, is a fraud.
Unless, of course, we do something about it…intentionally.
Not long ago, a friend casually mentioned to us that our family seems so ‘perfect’. This could not be more further from the truth! We are far from perfect in every way and our lives are far from being perfect. We only wish it was perfect.
Life for us as a married couple is hard right from the get go where we both were born to working class widowed parents, had to scrimp and save for our own wedding, our first home etc…We had to face the grief of childlessness, child losses, and finally when the kids came, our only form of home support was in the form of our ‘foreign domestic help’ and infant care centres – more strain on the finances. We make mistakes in our parenting, in our relationships. We have our share of quarrels and disagreements. We try very hard to balance work with family life, often relying on the ‘mercies’ of our bosses. Our kids don’t have the luxury of grandparents to ferry them around so on occasions where we are unable to take any child-care leave due to work commitments (yes…they happen), the kids virtually rot at home.
So no, we are not perfect. Far from it.
But this is where Christmas comes in. Sorry. This is where CHRIST comes in.
Tis the season where we reflect and thank God for EVERYTHING. The world is not perfect and it is getting increasingly complex and unsafe. We thank God that through these madness, complexities and disappointments called life, we are able to make it to this part of the year, each year so far, intact. We thank God that through our mistakes and follies, He sustained us as we made amends and endured the consequences but best of all, we thank God that while there are many things which rob us of our health, especially as we age, He has saved our souls.
So for me, while Christmas the commercialized festival means nothing, Christ actually means everything. The essential message of Christmas is one of redemption, hope and everlasting love. The birth of Christ and His resurrection brought us back to the source of Grace and we owe it all to Jesus. For our kids, they too must not be brainwashed to think that Christmas is just another season to buy, exchange and receive presents. Nope, it’s not about Santa, not the roast turkeys, the log cakes, nor the gifts below the Christmas trees…heck, not even the Christmas candle-light church services. If we don’t share this message of salvation, hope and love with them, trust me, the world sure ain’t either. Just scan the headlines or listen to the news and you’ll see that hopelessness, violence and evil permeate the world we live in. People (including children) need the Lord…that’s why there is CHRIST-mas.
So in the midst of all the thanksgiving and merry-making, we take efforts to remind our daughter why we celebrate Christmas – that Christ came to pay for our sins, He died, rose again and have made peace between us and our Heavenly father. Because of that, we have a hope and future. Regardless of what may happen; our souls and destinies are secured in Christ. We also take time as a family to bless the less fortunate in the society so that we can turn compassion into actions. We also take time to thank the friendships that have blessed our hearts and stood by us in the past year…The true gift of Christ-mas is available all year round, not just in manic December. How meaningful if we can all simplify Christmas, and celebrate Christ.
Merry Christmas everyone. Christ has come.
Glory to God in the Highest.
One of our fav songs for the season – Josh Groban’s ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’.
Up next tomorrow, we have Mommy Nat from So.Natty Blog.
If there’s a month that Nat loves more than her birthday month or of her husband’s, or even her 2 boisterous kids’; it’s December. That’s because she can finally sing and hum Christmas songs that she has been singing all year long, out loud and proud without receiving awkward stares from others, including that of her husband’s. More importantly, she loves December because of Christmas. Find out what this joyous season means to Nat and her family.