WHY DO WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?
We celebrate the lives of very important and accomplished men and women in our western culture by commemorating their birthdays. These men and women are the greatest thinkers, innovators, teachers, and leaders. These are the people who were known to have made a difference in our society.
Using the yardstick of “the greatest thinkers, innovators, teachers, and leaders” is it any wonder that we celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ? Truly, Jesus of Nazareth was the greatest thinker of all time; He applied the teachings of salvation in a way that was understandable by the common man. He was the greatest innovator of all time with all the answers to life’s greatest questions relating to our salvation. Our Savior was the greatest teacher of all time, teaching eternal truths and practical solutions for our salvation and He was the greatest leader of all time; more than 2000 years later and more than a billion people on the earth still follow Him.
Our western societies deem His life so monumental and so life-changing, that we set aside two holidays to mark His life. The first bring Christmas to celebrate His birth and life and the second one, Easter, to commemorate His death and resurrection.
We celebrate Christmas to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, the day the greatest being whoever lived was born. It is on Christmas Day that we honor and rejoice in the magnificent life of our Savior and Redeemer.
WHAT IS CHRISTMAS?
Some holidays that we celebrate each year are special and significant, while other holidays are just another excuse to recreate and barbecue. However, Christmas is a holiday that actually has the power to motivate us to do things. The “power of Christmas motivation” compels us to give of our time by serving at a soup kitchen or some other worthy charity that helps the poor, the homeless and those, otherwise in need.
It is during the Christmas season that we hear wonderful stories of everyday people doing extraordinary acts of service and kindness to their fellow man. We read stories of celebrities visiting children’s hospitals and supporting Christmas type charities such as the Marine Corps’s Toys for Tots, Sub for Santa, Salvation Army or Shop with a Cop and other kind and generous Christmas time activities.
Celebrating Christmas is reflecting on the coming of Christ to earth in a lowly manger and celebrating His sinless perfect life. None of the world’s “greatest thinkers, innovators, teachers, and leaders” have ever been able to affect mankind like Jesus Christ.
The life of Jesus is the perfect example of giving to others and serving others. He healed the sick, He fed the multitudes, He taught the gospel of life and he prepared the way for our salvation.
The birth of our Lord and Savior to the earth was so remarkable and so monumental that the whole Western world reconciled the keeping of time to His birth. If historical events happen before His birth, they are referred to as B.C. If historical events happened after the His birth, they are referred to as A.D.
Jesus taught of giving and serving one another and keeping the commandments of God. He taught us that if we would keep these commandments we would be free from the bonds of sin. To be truly free, Jesus taught us that we can only do so by keeping his commandments.
Symbolism of Gift Giving
Christmas is celebrated as the day of the birth of the greatest man to ever walk the dusty paths of earth. Christmas is a celebration and a reminder of the greatest gift that our Father in Heaven, ever gave to mankind, the gift of his only begotten Son in the flesh.
Our Creator wants everyone one of his children on earth to come back and live with him in Heaven. Like the Scripture that says be ye clean the bear the vessels of the Lord, we need to be clean and free from sin in order to live with our Father in Heaven.
While living in this life, no one is capable of living a sin free life. We all are in need of divine grace and mercy. That’s why our Creator sent Jesus Christ to the earth, to give us an example of how to live our lives and to provide a way for us to repent of our sins and to be forgiven.
We like to attach symbolic meaning to all the trappings and decorations and activities of Christmas, and these are very great, serving a great purpose, but the ultimate symbol of Christmas is in the act of giving, not the gift itself.
While we ponder on the greatest gifts given to mankind from our Heavenly Father, and our Savior, Jesus Christ, do we ever ponder the other side of gift giving? The receiving end of gift giving? How grateful are we to our Father in Heaven for the gift He gave us in the form of His only begotten Son in the flesh?
Why is the Christmas holiday season such “magical time?” If you can overlook the commando style of Christmas shopping that is associated with modern-day gift giving there really is a magical spirit, a special spirit that permeates the air during the Christmas season. Most people really are of good cheer, with shouts of Merry Christmas and happy holidays and Christmas carols coming through the airwaves of our digital devices.
Christmas All Year Long
The reason why the Christmas holiday season is so magical is because everyone is focused directly or indirectly on many symbols associated with the birth of our Savior. So why can’t, we have that spirit and that magical feeling seven days a week, for 365 days a year?
If the Christmas season is so wonderful and joyful is it not worth trying to emulate every single day of the year? Most Christians would agree with this sentiment. It’s not a hard thing to do and many of us may already be doing it. Celebrate Christmas ever day of the year by giving good gifts, the gifts that really matter, like opening the door for someone with their hands full, or shoveling the snow off of your neighbor’s side walk or being polite when someone else is being rude.
Be kind while driving, be courteous to everyone you interact with, be sensitive to the feelings of others, the kind and thoughtful in your choice of words you use to communicate with. In other words, strive to be like our Savior every day of the year and the spirit of Christmas will follow thus. This will give us a year-long spirit of Christmas.
We celebrate Christmas by paying homage to the birth of The Savior and reflecting on His life perfectly lived. Christmas is a day of celebration and commemoration for our Redeemer and Savior.