The True Meaning Of Christmas –by George Bonin Sr.
Sometimes, the state of turmoil, hate and greed, and lack of brotherhood among nations, of which we read daily, causes us many sleepless nights.
Recently, following Christmas preparations, and later, reading of news not consistent with the Christmas season, I experienced a very strange dream:
“In this dream so, real, I heard a knock at the door, and found a tall, gaunt, shivering stranger there. He lifted His hand in greeting, and I saw scars on His hands, and also on feet seen through flimsy sandals. Gazing into His face, I viewed the saddest, but kindest of eyes. All doubt vanished as to the identity of my visitor. But why had Christ chosen me to visit, and on Christmas Eve?
Cheerfully, I greeted Him: ‘Lord, how good of you to come during this glorious Holiday, when all Your children celebrate Your birth. May I show You our community, and how much your birthday means to us?”
“Yes, I would like that.” He replied. As I walked along the streets, I pointed out, “These colored lights are all for You.”
“Do the lives of all those who follow me, radiate light, too?” He whispered softly. Troubled, I could not answer.
“We passed windows piled high with gaily wrapped packages. “At Christmas,” I explained, “we give each other presents in Your name. In this way, we bring happiness, and show our love for our fellow men.?” Gently, He asked, “What about my children who have no food, no homes, no work, no hope.” “Do your gifts go to them, also?” Embarrassed, I replied, “We usually give, just to each other.” Why was I feeling so miserable in the pit of my stomach?
Proceeding further, we entered the dimly-lit sanctuary of my church; a church, that later, would be crowded with devout followers. He walked to the pulpit, opened the Bible, turned His eyes heavenward, and cried out, “Oh, Father! If only Your children would follow your teachings!” I hung my head in shame!
Abruptly awakening from that troubled vision, I really felt it had happened. Its message had burned itself into my brain. I wondered, with guilt, “Have we forgotten the true meaning of Christmas?”
During the season of Christmas we reflect on tinsel, vari-colored lights, gaily decorated trees. We see mistletoe, holly, bells, scarlet poinsettias, gaily wrapped packages, and happy voices. But Christmas is more than this.
At this enchanted season of Christmas, there is magic in the air. Gaiety, laughter, and music, pervade the homes of the land, and supreme happiness is derived through making others happy. Twice-blessed are those bringing joy to others, for “the gift without the giver is bare,”, but Christmas is more than this.
Children are overwhelmed by the excitement of these days, and they have many questions about the grand old man in red, who arrives on Christmas Eve.
Worldwide are happy voices, the bubbling of childish laughter, the knowing smiles of adults remembering their youth. But Christmas is more than this.
There are believers, who visualize the Star of Bethlehem, beaming as brightly as on that first holy night, and go softly through the star-lit night, to sing carols and bring presents to the less fortunate. In bringing joy to others, we approach the true meaning of Christmas.
Everywhere, on this mystical Eve, carols float through the air, and devout worshippers wend their way to their favorite church, there, to give thanks to the God who showered upon them a more abundant, holy way of life. With humbled hearts, worshippers sing praises to the Higher Being, whose gift to man planted the seed of Christmas.
In sharing the blessing of life with others, and in sincere worship…herein lies the true meaning of Christmas. Never lose the strange inward glow that comes at Christmas things like: logs burning in the fireplace, snowflakes drifting to the ground, candles on the table all have a mystic meaning, something not present at other times of the year. We all become children again, and life shines with possibilities. We experience a rebirth of idealism, a re-awakening of the faith that puts star-shine in the eyes of little children.
Christmas is a time of tradition, the joy of children as they await the holiday, the time of innocent acceptance of Santa Claus, the unrestrained gaiety of the festivities–all are traditional aspects in the meaning of Christmas. But, there is still more to Christmas than this.
There is the inner meaning of “goodwill among men,” in the exchanges of greetings and tokens of respect and love. There is a spiritual note that sounds the true significance of Christmas courage, and confidence, optimism and good will, symbols of Christmas as are the Yule log and mistletoe.
Enjoy the Christmas season, but keep in mind, Him, for whom we celebrate; and give a thought to the sad lament in my dream, “Oh, Father. If only your children would follow your teachings!”
Mr. George Bonin Sr. has written for the past 20 years for the Pawtucket Times Newspaper and for the North Attleboro Mass, Free Press Newspaper for 15 years. He is also a frequent writer of Letters to the Editor when imortant issues come up. Additionally, Mr. Bonin is Staff Writer in Chief for e-Catholic 2000
© Copyright 2003 George W. Bonin Sr. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be used without the express written permission from the author. Please visit Mr. Bonin’s website: “Welcome To George W Bonin Sr HomePage”
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