WHY CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among woman!’”
Luke 1:26-28 (NKJV)
Christmas in the UK is a national festival celebrating the birth of Jesus, whose birth, death and resurrection are key to a Christian’s hope of salvation and eternal life. The majority of people look forward to this festival, but why do so many people who are not Christians, or not regular church goers, celebrate this Christmas Festival? Two of the reasons are nostagia and happy childhood memories.
For many people Christmas was a special time in their childhood. They saw it through a child’s eyes without any of the pressures, the stress or the commercialism that you can’t avoid as an adult. The twinkling lights, tinsel and sparkle take them back into an easier carefree past when it was all about the fun and what presents they got.
In a strong family setting they had feelings of safety, happiness and warmth with memories of being free of responsibility and surrounded by treats such as a Christmas stocking, perhaps a pantomime or a show, the school carol concert. It was a time when life seemed fun, easy and uncomplicated.
So, for many people Christmas is about recapturing the past, nostalgia for the memory of the good times it represented in their childhood. Whilst wanting to recapture those feelings for themselves, they also want to recreate them for their children, to make it a special time with happy memories for them too.
For many, nostalgia and childhood memories are the reasons they keep Christmas. How much more worth celebrating, when we recognize Jesus as the Son of God.
Loving Father, help people to come to see and understand the real meaning of Christmas. In Christ’s name.
Study by Keith Hartrick
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association
LEEDS LS15 8LE
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