Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas (What Is Its True Meaning?)


We associate Christmas with endless shoppings, with sumptuous foods on Christmas eve and Christmas day, of never ending gift giving, of going to carnivals and fairs, and other forms of merry making characterized by wanton display of one's affluence and goaded on by crass commercialism.

That's why every year, when Christmas season approaches, 3/4 or more of the world's population feel dejected and lonely. Why? Because they lack the resources to buy all the nice things that will make them and their loved ones (especially their children) happy on Christmas day.

Why? Because they have accepted in their minds that Christmas is all about the ostentatious display of one's wealth come Christmas day. The world has accepted the gross commercialism and materialism that the western countries have ingrained in the minds of all the people in the world.

Everywhere in the world, people associate Christmas with Santa Claus and his gifts, with white Christmas characterized with snow and all the fun games of winter, with Christmas trees, with colorful Christmas lights, with fireworks, with fine new clothes, Christmas caroling, and with plenty and sumptuous foods.

But what is the real meaning and essence of Christmas? It seems that people have lost track of the true reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Luke 2:8-14 says, "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: you will find a baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger.' Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests."

The birth of Jesus Christ in a humble manger have presaged the opening of heaven's gate for all people to be saved by His eventual death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. Thus, we should be celebrating Christmas in memory of the birth of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ whom the Father sent to redeem fallen mankind.

We should celebrate Christmas in our hearts as we feel God's presence in our lives. The real merry making and the indescribable joy of the true Christmas will be fully experienced by us when we come face to face with our Savior in His kingdom, to live in blissful existence with Him forevermore.

Let us rediscover the original joy of Christmas by letting Jesus Christ enter our hearts.

O Come O Ye Faithful


Posted by Mel Avila Alarilla
Philippines
Spiritual/Inspirational

32 comments:

Deb said...

Dear Mel,
I wish blessings of peace, love and joy to you and your family this Christmas and New YEar.

(¯`•._.•[Raaji]•._.•´¯) said...

I am glad you reminded us all of the true meaning and reason for Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful one!!

Noushy Syah said...

HI MEL

May you and family have a blessed and wonderful x-mas and happy holidays.

p/s I think many festival seasons that associated with religions such as Eid Mubarak for the Muslims also has been corrupted with materialism and commercialism!!

Thanks for sharing this good post on the meaning of x-mas celebrations.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Dr. Deb,
Thanks for your warm greetings. May you also enjoy the best of the holiday season this Christmas and New Year. Thanks for your visit. God bless and have a warm and cozy day in the US.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Raaji,
Thanks for your visit too and for your generous comments. I'm glad that your school exams are already over and you can now enjoy the true spirit of Christmas and New Year. May you and your loved ones enjoy the best of the holiday season.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Noushy,
Thanks for the warm greetings and for your friendship. It is indeed sad that religious festivals that should have been observed in piety and moderation have been turned into commercial and licentious celebrations. We pity those who are bereft of material things in life who suffer in these prosperous times. We hope that the world would look more on the plight of our less fortunate brethren in times of joyous celebrations. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year again to you and your loved ones. May you all enjoy the best of the holiday season. Have a warm and cozy day in foggy London.

Sameera said...

That is a thought-provoking post yet again.Pity amongst all the jingle-jangle,everyone forgets what this festival stands for.Nice to know there are people who have not.

Hope you doing well my friend.Merry Christmas to you and your family.Have a great weekend.God Bless You always.

beachgirl said...

Thank You for the Christmas wishes to me and my family. We are a close knit group for sure. But human at the same time.
I went shopping with my daughter for just us tonight. She needed some warm boots and I bought her some new jeans for her trip up to New Jersey. She's a good sport going to see her Grandmother. Not a fun visit for someone her age. But I have family up there and they love her.
I do agree about the commercialism of Christmas. I also over buy for the kids. But it's more what they need verses blatant wants. The boys got dress clothes for work. and they like my taste in clothes.
What are your families plans for Christmas?

Arthur said...

Hi Mel, you know, you think the same as me, I mean, I think the same as you.

Christmas is for me the birth of Jesus Christ, He's been in my Heart forever instead of that old-fat man who laughs Ho ho ho. If I give gifts to anyone it's 'cause I really feel it.

You know, I have my Christmas tree, and, at the bottom of the tree I have some little figures which represent the Father, Virgin MarĂ­a, some Angels, some animals, the three wizard kings, and it's all called "Nacimiento".

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy new year.

I'll go on vacation with my Mother to Acapulco, but I'll be back on December 29th.

Thanks fro everything.

Big greetings and big hugs.

Sweet Dreams, from the bottom of my Heart:
Arthur

Gusthav said...

Hi Mel, I really feel the birth of Jesus Christ in this season, and I don't think in purchases, or games, or even in santa claus.

We just have a joyful moment full of wishes and hope.

You know, Arthur's gonna fly to Acapulco, so he won't be here the next week, but I'll be here in his place, but not out of my place.

I mean, if you need something from him, or from me, feel free to ask for it to me, OK?

I'll be here for you.

Have a Merry Christmas and happy new year.

Greetings and hugs

Nice Day, with my whole soul:
Gusthav

Arthur said...

Oops, I forgot to mention the figure of Jesus Christ, in the moment of His Birth, in the "Nacimiento!.

What a fool of me.

Big greetings and big hugs

Sweet Dreams, fro the bottom of my Heart:
Arthur

fingertalks.com said...

hi bro,mel,

thanks for this inspiring post about the real meaning of Christmas. i agree with you that Christmas IS in our hearts, and not on the material gifts that we see around us.

Here in my new residence, there isn't much celebration about it - no xmas tree, no xmas lights. But my hubby and I would be celebrating it silently as our thanksgiving to Christ.

May you have a Merry Xmas and a Prosperous New Year!

God bless always bro.mel. I always enjoy reading your posts.

fingertalks

HeiressChild said...

hi Mel, aaahhhh yes, the REAL meaning of Christmas. what a timely post.

i want to wish you and your family a safe and blessed holiday season. HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

peace & blessings,
sylvia

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Sameera,
Thank you very much for your visit my friend and for the insightful comments you made. As the world becomes more and more commercialized, let us not forget the true meanings of the festivals we celebrate lest we get drowned in the crass materialism of the world. I appreciate that you still have the time to visit my blog despite the fact that you already declared a blog holiday for the yuletide season. Enjoy the holiday season my friend with your friends and loved ones and may the true spirit of Christmas shine in your heart and soul. Thanks again for your visit. Have a wonderful and fun filled holiday in Dubai. God bless.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Beachgirl,
Thanks for your visit and for the warm holiday greetings. It's nice that you can still do holiday shopping for your kids. It's so much of a hassle to do that. I think females are more adept at shopping than men. Our Christmas celebration here is very simple yet solemn. We usually share our eve of Christmas midnight supper (it's called Noche Buena here in the Philippines)then we attend service on Christmas day and have a family lunch together. Christmas day is usually spent visiting close relatives and friends especially godparents of our children. But I'm too tired and sick to be able to still do that. Thanks again for your visit. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year again to you and your loved ones. God bless.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Arthur,
Thanks for your visit too and for your warm yuletide greetings. It's so nice to know that you still retain the true meaning of Christmas. God bless you more for that. I'm glad that you and your mom are going on a holiday to the famous Acapulco resort in Mexico. Enjoy your vacation there my young friend. You deserve that. May the good Lord bless your trip and keep you safe and sound throughout your entire vacation. And may He shower you with all the blessings that your heart secretly desires. God bless and may you enjoy your vacation in Mexico. Muchas gracias mi amigo.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Gusthav,
Thanks for your visit too and for your wonderful holiday greetings. I really appreciate that my young friend. It's not bad to appreciate and enjoy the celebrations and merry makings of Christmas. What is wrong is when we only focus on them and disregard the true essence and spirit of Christmas which is the birth of Jesus Christ. Thanks for your kindness. God bless you with all the joys and exuberance of youth. Enjoy the best of the yuletide season. Muchas gracias mi amigo.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Arthur,
You call it nacimiento in Argentina, we call it Belen in the Philippines. It's an exact replica of the birth of the baby Jesus in a manger complete with the figures of Mary and Joseph and the shepherds and their flocks. Thanks again my young friend.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Fingertalks,
Thanks for your visit too and for your warm holiday greetings. I could sense the loneliness and homesickness in your spirit and I will pray for you and your husband. Where are you staying ba, in the Middle East? I'm sure you're not in the US since Christmas is being celebrated there too. Now, that's a wonderful time to really feel the true spirit of Christmas when there's nothing there to remind you of it. If Christ is in your heart then everyday becomes Christmas day. Learn to see the joy of your existence in your workplace. God placed you there for a purpose. Be the light of the world and the salt of the earth in that place. Be a sweet fruit for the Lord that people will see it and glorify your God. I will pray for you my friend as I sense the loneliness in your heart and soul. Be of good cheer. Christ brings you tidings of joy and peace in our hearts. God bless you with he abundance of His mercies and grace and His bountiful blessings too. Have a wonderful and peaceful day in your workplace.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Heiresschild,
What can I say? I'm so blessed with your friendship. You are my sister in Christ and we walk the same path in sharing and spreading the joy of the Gospel message to the world. As the angel said in Bethlehem, the Gospel brings tidings of great joy and peace to the world. Thanks for your holiday greetings and wishes. May you and your family enjoy too the best of the holiday season as I pray for your continued blessings, joy and peace in your heart and soul. Have a wonderful and peaceful yuletide season in the US.

Sarah said...

Kuya Mel,

I agree in every thing you said our society is really forgetting the true meaning of Christmas. The other day while I was watching the news I felt sad coz one of the state here in the US they want to use Happy Holidays to greet people instead saying Merry Christmas they said some people get offended when they've been greeted by Merry Christmas.

The purpose why were celebrating the Christmas is to reminisce the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. And if we use Happy Holidays it's like were forgetting the true meaning why we have Christmas. I told to myself if you don't like the word Merry Christmas why they just moved to other country where they don't celebrate Christmas so they won't get offended.

Noushy Syah said...

HI MEL,

How was your day? It's really foggy,frosty and gloomy weather here! feel like the best is to hibernate hehehhe..

Have you visited krystyna's blog on her birthday? I saw your cute Princess Heidi there too in the party!!

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for your visit and for your very meaningful comments. I agree with you that America has become steeped in apostasy. Although there are still many well meaning and true Christians, Christianity in mainstream America has become a modern day parody where they question even the saying of prayers in school. Look at what's happening in American campuses. Young demented students engaging in massacres of their schoolmates and teachers. God has blessed America before because of her advocacy to honor God in her constitution and in her currencies, but now mainstream America has turned its back from God and is being punished for her apostasy. The light will be taken away from America and will be passed on to a new nation who will rally the world in the cause of God's righteousness and justice. Let us all pray for America that she will have a massive spiritual revival and return to her first love of serving and honoring God. Thanks again for your visit. God bless you and your wonderful family especially Caleb. May you all enjoy the best of the yuletide season. Have a warm and cozy day in the US.
Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon sa inyong lahat.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Noushy,
Thanks again for your visit and for your warm comments. Yes, I will be visiting Krystyna's blog and will greet her on her birthday. Before I forget, let me greet you also a wonderful and blessed Birthday on the 31st of December. You're really very famous because the whole world celebrate your birthday on New Year's eve. I hope you get warm and comfortable in foggy and chilly London. Don't hibernate. There's so many fantastic things to do on Christmas and New Year than joining the bears in hibernation. He, he, he, *lol* Happy Eid too. I always respect and honor your own celebrations although I scarcely understand them. We can all live in peaceful co-existence with love and harmony in our hearts although we profess different religious beliefs. Thanks again my dear friend and here's a toast for our friendship. Cheers! Stay as loving and as romantic as you are always.

krystyna said...

Hi Mel!
Thank you for remind this most impotant meaning of Christmas. Jesus is the best gift!
What a beautiful video you chose.
Perfect!
Ps.
Thank you for your warm greetings and kind visit at my birthday party.
Hope you are well.
I wish you many blessings 2008.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Krystyna,
You'll always be a dear friend of mine. Happy Birthday again and thanks for featuring my darling baby girl in your funny video. She's the apple of my eye and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw her in your Christmas video. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year again. May the good Lord grant you all your secret desires in your heart. Have a pleasant and warm day in the US.

Elween said...

another wonderful post about Christmas. thx for reminding us once again.

just wanna wish you a merry christmas and may God refresh you and your family in His service :)

texas_sweetie said...

Hi Kuya Mel,
talagang sinadya kong dumaan dito para bumati sa iyo at sa buong pamilya mo ng MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Rejoice for the Christ is born!

Solitaire said...

I think this is true for any festival celebrated around the world. Festivities always include pomp and galor and good food and jazzy clothes. Think of us immigrants who are away from our families at this time. Despite the money, we still feel lonely.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Elween,
Thanks for your visit and your warm greetings my young friend. You are always welcome here. May you and your loved ones enjoy the best of the holiday season. God bless and have a wonderful and joyous day in Malaysia.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Texas Sweetie aka Byotipol,
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too. May the Lord bless you and your loved ones with all the great blessings He has stored just for you in His great storehouse of blessings. May He grant you all of the fondest wishes in your heart. May you have a safe and normal delivery for Jadyn and may your family enjoy the very best that this coming year will bring to all of you. Enjoy the best of the holiday season. Have a warm and cozy day in Texas. MALIGAYANG PASKO AT MANIGONG BAGONG TAON SA INYONG LAHAT.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Solitaire,
I understand how you feel. That's how my wife working in the US must be feeling too. Anyway, you can consider your blogger friends as your Christmas buddies who will bring good tidings of joy and cheer to you this Christmas time. I'll be visiting your blog very soon and I will establish a regular correspondence with you. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. May the Lord fill your heart with love and joy this Christmas so that you will not feel lonely and homesick. God bless you with happiness and joy this yuletide season and in the incoming year. Have a nice and pleasant day always.

"Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7b)

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