Christmas – what does it mean?

I am not a religious person however, I was baptized into the Anglican faith. I attended the Methodist Church Sunday School two houses up from my parents’ home in Redcliffe and my children attended Catholic primary and secondary schools. Therefore, I do understand the “real reason” why Christmas is such an important celebration of the Christian faith.

What I find interesting is that as the world becomes more westernized, Christmas is celebrated in many countries where Christianity is not the first religion.

So for these countries, is the “real reason” of the celebration lost or not understood? I sincerely hope not, although the cynic in me sometimes does think that the commercial priority of Christmas has become much more important.

The internet has made the world a very small place and the ability of large multi-national corporations to market to the entire world because of a Christmas celebration is very easy.

The last couple of weeks have again proved to me that Christmas can either be a nightmare for the average person or a shopaholic’s dream come true. We are inundated from the second week of November with bundles of Christmas junk mail in our letterboxes and emails from every company who we may have bought something from in the last 12 months promoting their once in a lifetime Christmas sale.

On top of this, we have now Black Friday sales and a new and exciting promotion Cyber Monday – whatever this may be – and this all happens before Christmas and the infamous Boxing Day sale.

The pressure on you to spend money is constant and the stress, depending on your financial and personal circumstances, can be immense.

According to some media outlets, the success of Christmas is measured by how much money has been spent.

I am sure most of you will agree, it does seem to be a rather perverse way of viewing Christmas and the original concept of a Christmas celebration was not based on how much money people could spend.

As I did say right at the beginning of this blog, I am not a religious person. However, I do believe very much in what I understand Christmas to mean.

Christmas is about compassion, tolerance, respect, understanding and a love for your fellow human, regardless of a person’s beliefs, colour, lifestyle or choices. Humans are a widely diversified group of individuals who, unlike our fellow animals, possess a genuine ability to be compassionate and understanding – Christmas is a wonderful time for all of us to remember these qualities and to put them into practice if only for one day.

Through my wonderful rose-coloured glasses, I hope Christmas celebrations in countries where Christianity is not the religion of choice are for these reasons and not for the commercial benefits or the advertised perception of the joy we can bring by spending money.

From PK and I, all the very best of the season, have a wonderful time and fingers crossed for a brilliant 2018 – regardless of your beliefs!


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