As Christmas day approaches, I wanted to speak on what the meaning of Christmas really is. It is no secret that society has changed. It is starting to become a world where having any beliefs, opinions, or creativity is not okay. We live in a world of negativity to where individuals feel the need to find things wrong with everything that they see. Take the 1964 classic story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for example. Growing up, we believed that he was the tiny little reindeer that was bullied for being different, until one day, he got to show who he really is, and became the most famous reindeer yet. What is the moral of the original story? It’s simple really. Rudolph has a shiny red nose and because of it, he was made fun of for being different. Rudolph FINALLY gets to show that his uniqueness makes him special when his shiny red nose guides Santa through the sky, and ultimately saves Christmas. It’s the classic tale of being bullied, until they see how awesome you really are. In recent news, the Huffington Post refers to this classic story as now being racist and homophobic. I won’t go too into detail on this story but here is a link to an article by the Washington Post if you want to see what I’m talking about. https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2018/12/02/people-are-upset-about-rudolph-red-nosed-reindeer-heres-why/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4b2f7eb4189a
Photo courtesy of kbecca.com
There is no positivity left. Christmas has been targeted for years. Those that believe in Christ know the meaning of Christmas, and those that don’t, want to separate Christ from having anything to do with Christmas.
Who is Santa Clause? What does he have to do with Christ?
The answer is still VERY simple. They are two completely different stories. Santa Clause has to do with the story of Christmas, and Christ has to do with the meaning of Christmas. Still confused? Bare with me for a little longer and I promise you will understand the difference.
Lets start with Santa Clause. He goes by many different names like Santa Clause, Santa, St. Nick, or Father Christmas. The original name was St. Nick who is known as Saint Nicholas of Myra; a Christian Bishop during the time of the Roman Empire. His parents passed away while he was young and therefore left all of their riches to him. Growing up as a Christian, he was taught to “sell his riches and give to the poor”, which are the very words of Jesus. He did this by using his inheritance to bless those that truly needed it. Nicholas followed what his Christianity taught him, but unfortunately this was during the Roman Empire Diocletian where Christians were persecuted for their belief. He was imprisoned along with many other bishops and priests, so many in fact that the REAL criminals were not condemned, and lived freely. St. Nicholas passed away on December 6 AD 343, therefore debunking any myth that Christmas celebrates St. Nick’s birth.
How does St. Nick’s story coincide with Christmas? With the riches that he inherited, he helped those that truly needed it by helping them without receiving recognition. The story of Christmas stockings came from one of St. Nicks good deeds. During his time, if a woman wanted to marry a good husband, she would need to offer a dowry (something worth value, ex. money) to her prospective husband. The bigger the dowry, the better chance of finding a husband (pretty ironic with the size of our rings). There was a man who had three daughters, in which all three needed to find a husband, yet did not have anything of value to give. As the story goes, on three different days, a bag of gold was mysteriously found in their home, coincidentally in their stockings (socks at this time), which were hung by the fire to dry. This resulted in the story of good ol’ St. Nick being a gift-giver, which many years later turned into the name of Santa Clause.
Now Who is Jesus Christ? He is the son of God, who is the creator of the world.
Where did the word Christmas come from?
We celebrate Christmas in honor of the birth of Jesus. The name Christmas comes from Jesus being known as “Christ” and mas being derived from a communion service, also known as a mass. Hence the name Christ-Mass or Christmas for short. The name in itself is fully dedicated to being about Jesus Christ. For those that are not sure what a communion is about, it is where we hold a special service to remember that Jesus died for our sins. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25?
The actual birth date of Jesus Christ is not fully confirmed, however the first known date is December 25, 336 A.D. Another theory to the actual date of birth goes back to the day that Mary was told that she would bear a child. This date is thought to be on March 25, in which nine months later lands on December 25.
What is the meaning of Christmas?
We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ by being thankful that he was born. We reflect on him being the light of the world. We celebrate by exchanging gifts to our loved one in remembrance of this significant event. Why gifts? When Jesus was born, he was given gifts by the three Wise Men of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold represents being King, as Jesus is the King of Kings, frankincense is an oil commonly used in worship, and myrrh is a perfume used to make dead bodies smell good. The biggest gift given was given by God himself. He gave use the gift of Jesus Christ. John 3:16 “God loved the world so much, that he gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life.”
Christmas is a time when we come together to celebrate our families, the love we have for each other, and the love for Christ. Let’s keep the true meaning of Christmas with Christ being the reason to why we celebrate.
Nativity scene photo courtesy of Wayfair.com