Soon we will celebrate Christmas and that means that many of us will be reunited with our loved ones, we will drink a toast, we will buy gifts, we will decorate our homes…But this celebration means so much more. In this article we wanted to dig deeper into the values of Christmas and reflect on the impact that these days can have on each of us.
Although every year we see turrones (nougats) in supermarkets earlier, Christmas doesn’t start then. The liturgical year has several seasons: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Ordinary Time. The Christmas season begins on December 24th and ends on the Sunday following the feast of the Epiphany. That Sunday, which this year falls on January 12th, celebrates the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Christmas is such an important date that its preparation time, which is Advent, takes four weeks.
To find the true values of Christmas, we have to look at its origin. At Christmas we celebrate the birth among us of Jesus Christ, the son of God. It’s God’s feast with us. And from that fact, three main values arise that give reason to Christmas:
Faith, our relationship with God, are the main pillars of Christmas and what makes sense to it. Have you ever wondered why you drink a toast at Christmas, why you receive gifts, why you eat such delicious meals…?
The reason isn’t that things are going well for you. The real celebration of Christmas is that no matter how things are going, God is with you.
For all those people who, for different reasons, may feel in need of strength, encouragement… Christmas can be a source of comfort. Because the main value of Christmas is its own origin: that God is with us. We share this joy with those closest to us. And this brings us to the next value of the Christmas holiday.
For many of us, family represents an important pillar in our lives. We learn to love others, to give ourselves to them, and to receive affection. During Christmas, family reunions and reunions with our relatives are very common and become a source of happiness for us.
However, our family cannot be an island where we celebrate Christmas and that makes us turn our backs on the rest. The joy of sharing these moments cannot stay in us, nor in our family nucleus. We have to try to expand to others as well. And not as a mere philanthropy, but as part of a natural process in which I give “freely” everything that I have received for “free”. That’s why enjoying the gift of the family has to push us towards the third value of Christmas.
The love we feel for our family propels us to give to others. Christmas is for everyone, but above all, for those who need it most. For those who, apparently, may have nothing to celebrate, or who believe they have no reason; people who are alone, those who are sick, those who have nothing to give or receive…
Solidarity activities such as food or toy collections, hospital visits or nursing home visits… are all small acts that serve to visualize that our joy does not stay within us, but radiates and expands to others. Because when we discover that God fills us, he impels us to give ourselves to others.
As we have seen, everything starts with our relationship with God. And this God does not come to us for a temporary, courtesy visit. He’s here to stay. So, with your help, let’s try to lengthen the values of Christmas beyond the next few weeks.
And now…we wish you a Merry Christmas!