How to give meaning to Christmas?

How to give meaning to Christmas?

You probably received many Christmas wishes, also through email. But maybe none that asked the question what Christmas actually is. We can say a lot about that, like that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ or that we celebrate Yule, the return of the light. But is that what you personally do celebrate? Or is the essence of Christmas for you something totally different? I mean … the return of the light is not yet happening now. It will take a full month until you will start seeing the days lengthen. In the meantime it can be frickin’ cold and freezing until March, can’t it? And Jesus was actually born in Spring, scientists say. And what does the Christmas tree actually for?

In my opinion it’s cool to decorate your house in the middle of Winter with colourful stuff and greenery. My cousin lives in Australia and even he has Christmas lights in the whole house and garden. That hasn’t got anything to do with a Christian holiday. The custom started more than two thousand years ago, long before the religion. I think it’s a good idea to bring the words ‘holidays’, ‘decoration’ and ‘meaning’ together and create something beautiful with them.

For many people Christmas is an opportunity to gather their family and eat a couple of nice meals, while chitchatting – if not arguing – at the open fire, especially hired for the occasion. Weeks of stress come before the Holidays and then work starts again. But if you don’t have family, what will you do then? Or if you don’t like passing the Holidays that way? Others say Christmas is the time of Peace (with a capital letter). Wars pause everywhere in the world and we pass two days of reflection about ourselves, our loved ones and the world. I personally find two days of peace a great way towards an everlasting peace in the whole world, but then it should really be a Big Huge Feast for everyone and not only for those who have a family and a nice house. For me such a huge party would be an option to consider.

We always say it’s not ethical to eat a lot at Christmas, because so many others don’t have anything to eat. I don’t agree with that, because parties always have good food, so why not Christmas? I do think it’s crazy that the whole world is more or less obliged to eat turkey all at the same day; there are so many great recipes to cook! Variety is a great thing in my eyes. But what about the poor? Is it ethical not to think of them while we party?

Since there is such a crisis about Christmas and most people actually want it to be an ethical holiday, why don’t we then organise great parties for all people? Everywhere in the world, no matter if people are Christians or not and if they have Winter or not. In every neighbourhood a party, while people bring in food and the Municipality organises. Or else we can do what Muslims do: have a party, but also care about others and give money away for the poor. It’s very strange that we don’t do that already, isn’t it?

Maybe today is a great day to reflect about what you think about Christmas. How you would like to celebrate it and try to organise it. Anyway, I wish you great days and you will hear from me in the new year to come. Do spread the news, folks!



© Sophia Vassiliou


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