Of all the theories associated with the origin and celebration of Christmas, the most popular one is that it is believed to be the day when Jesus Christ was born. Since the precise history of the birth of Jesus hasn’t been established, the story of Christmas Day remains disputed. Essay writing experts describe some stories and celebrations associated with this sacred festival:
Story behind Christmas
There are several stories behind Christmas that go back as far as 4000 years in history. One such story is about Mary, a young girl from Israel, who was engaged to a Jewish carpenter called Joseph. Just after their engagement, Mary saw an Angel in her dreams who predicted that Mary had been chosen to give birth to the Son of God and that the child was to be named Jesus.
The Angel’s prophecy came true as Mary miraculously got pregnant even before she got married to Joseph. The Holy Spirit impregnated Mary with the Son of God. As expected, Joseph became upset and angry upon knowing this. He thought Mary was hiding something and not telling the truth about her pregnancy. However, Joseph too saw an Angel in his dreams who confirmed that Mary was indeed telling the truth. On realizing this, Joseph married Mary amid the possibility of facing public wrath.
Significance behind the festival
There are several phrases in Bible that affirm that the true significance of Christmas is to celebrate love. According to these phrases, the God loves the people of the world so much that whenever humanity is endangered by various evils He takes an Avatar and comes to the planet to save the humankind. For this reason, God incarnated as Jesus Christ and came down to the Earth. Therefore, the significance behind Christmas is understood as love and kindness for your family and all people as a whole. Needless to say, Christmas is the time when reunions occur and family members gather together to enjoy good time and meals together. People who have long lost touch one again send greetings to each other. The real meaning of celebrating Christmas is to spread joy and love, and what better way to do it than to get together with your loved ones and celebrate togetherness.
Christmas day celebration is incomplete without a Christmas tree. The delicate aroma of freshly manicured trees and decorating it with lights add more meaning to the celebration. Children and adults enjoy festooning the tree with bells, candies, garlands, and gifts. Traditionally, gifts are placed under the Christmas tree and the children wake up to the surprise gifts that their parents have bought for them.
Again, the tree holds different significance for different people around the globe. The tradition of decorating the Christmas tree seems to have originated in Germany. It is customary that people first choose a tree and then go around buying decorative stuff that suits it.
People in Europe and North America believe that the tree symbolizes the Christmas season. There is something unique about this tree that makes it so special. During this time of the year, most of the trees dry up due to extreme cold conditions but, the Christmas tree remains fresh and green despite the winter season, indicating life and sustainability in difficult times.
How people the world over celebrate Christmas
- America: There is a huge cultural overlapping in America so the festival is celebrated in many different ways. However, traveling remains the favorite activity of the season as many people pack their bags and go to exotic destinations or visit their families for an annual get-together.
- South America: The continent is known to celebrate the festival in its most traditional and religious form. Having said that, the cultural mix of the different countries on the continent has heralded diverse ways of celebrating Christmas here.
- Africa: Christmas celebrations in Africa begin with marching carolers and carnivals pacing the streets. The people wake up to the melodious carol tunes followed by grand family celebrations and a gala dinner to end the day.
- India: Commonly known as ‘Bada Din’ in India, the day marks the onset of the winter holiday season. All schools and offices remain closed as the day is observed as a National Holiday. The streets are illuminated with beautiful lights and markets are teeming with colorful decorative trinkets and Christmas trees in all sizes.
- Australia: The day is celebrated by singing carols and decorating the Christmas tree. People also decorate their houses with plants and beautiful flowers.
- Japan: The festival is primarily a commercial affair in Japan. The most important ritual on this day is eating a cake and chicken dinner.
Modern-day ideas of celebrating Christmas
Activity-based gifts: Treasure hunt is an excellent activity where players discover their gift by solving some puzzles or following a series of clues hidden around the house. This makes the activity fun and the players enjoy the entire hunting process rather than just their gift.
Giving and sharing: When the true essence of the day lies in celebrating love and spreading joy, the best way to celebrate it is through volunteering in community kitchens, distributing Christmas gifts to the underprivileged, or ordering special dinners for children. You can do these services alone or with the help of some NGOs that are devoted to these causes.
Pause and Reflect: The winter holidays give people a much-needed break from their fast routine life. These days are a perfect opportunity to slow down a bit and reflect on your life. Look back at some of your fond memories and think what you could do to make your coming days even better.
Recently, Christmas celebrations have become a center of bashing, thanks to the excessive commercialization and the exchanging of gifts that ensues. The real significance of the day seems to have lost amid the maddening shopping craze and gifting fancy things. What was once believed to be a festival of family reunions, compassion, and forgiveness has now become all about sending and receiving gifts. All things considered, celebrators realize the true significance of Christmas day is celebrating it with their family and loved ones with joy and happiness so they can have everlasting memories of the day for the years to come.