Christmas is a festival unique in the sense that it may be religious in origin but the essence of it is universal in spirit. Celebrated as the birth of Lord Jesus on 25th December, it marks a major holiday point for all countries across the globe and the spirit of Christmas is celebrated in most of the developed and developing nations. This is the most important Christian festival which is not limited to only Christians but eagerly looked forward to by people of all religions for the fun and gaiety it brings along with it.
The anticipation of Santa Claus coming in with gifts in a sled drawn by rein deer is a tale which has captured the imagination of children since ages. The stories of Santa sliding in through the chimney and leaving behind kids who have been well-behaved throughout the year have helped to discipline many an errant child. The gifts, the stockings, the X-Mas tree, the decorations, the lights, the cakes, the feasts and the families getting together everything makes the festival so special and unique.
At the stroke of midnight people flock to the churches for the midnight mass, to pay obeisance to the birth of the messiah who came to seek salvation for fellow humans and was ultimately crucified on the cross for the sins of his brothers. Generations of children grow up on stories of the birth of Baby Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph under trying circumstances and left overjoyed when the baby was born and the world stood enraptured at the miracle that happened. Christmas carols are sung and prayers for a happier year ahead, follow.
On the actual day of Christmas, families get together for a grand feast which comprises of the finest things the family can afford. Mince pies, turkey cake, pudding and cakes are synonymous with this festival. Gifts are exchanged and happiness shared. At the end of feast, everyone dances and sings and makes the day an occasion of revelry and gaiety.
The Christmas spirit talks about the need to be compassionate and generous, the need to share whatever little we might have with others who are less privileged. The spirit of Christmas lies in making the lives of those around us better than before in whichever manner possible. Joy is in sharing, not hoarding, happiness lies in giving, not receiving. This is the essence of this festival that one must bear in mind.
Jesus gave up his life as a martyr so that his fellow- men may live a life of peace and harmony. He held no grudge against those who betrayed him or crucified him. He believed forgiveness was the greatest of virtue one can incorporate in one’s character. Leading a life of virtue, truth and righteousness can alone lead a man towards God and this is the path that is illuminated on this day to serve as reminder to all about the importance of the value of love and sacrifice.