I enjoy listening to Christmas carols when the time is appropriate, that is from mid-December when the Christmas Novena starts till the end of Christmas time that is the feast of the Epiphany. Why? Because Christmas carols speak about the birth of the Child Jesus. The season of Christmas is the time when we celebrate this loving act of God. The season of Christmas is about Jesus who emptied himself and took upon himself human nature and humbled himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross. It is the celebration of the God-made-man.
Unfortunately, many are trying to eliminate this celebration from the festive Christmas Season. And when one eliminates Jesus from the Christmas season, one will be eliminating the heart of this season. For many it is only the festive season: a celebration without a heart. And they are going to great lengths to achieve their aim. The Nativity Scene has been practically banned from public places. Happy Holidays is taking place of Merry Christmas. The Christmas Tree is being referred to as the Holiday Tree. It is the Holiday Season and not the Christmas Season.
And I feel like asking: what are we celebrating, the birth of Jesus, the Son of the Living God, or the reign of Mammon, the god of wealth and greed? Why are Christmas songs being played in shopping malls and radio stations, and played only till December 25 and not beyond? The answer is simple. The shopping malls and radio stations want people to get into the festive mood and remember that they need to buy gifts, new clothes, prepare for parties and luncheons… and fork out hundreds or thousands of dollars. They want to hear the opening and the closing of their cash registers more than the music that they are piping. And the business slows down by December 25, so why should they keep playing Christmas songs? There is no more need for them.
Here I would like to challenge each and every one of us. As the Christmas celebration draws near, what preparations are you doing? Are your preparations limited only to the presents, decorations, luncheons and merry-making? If so, you have missed the bus. You are not better than those who are trying to eliminate Jesus from Christmas.
As Christians, our main concern should be the preparation of our hearts to let Jesus once again be born into our hearts and find in them a welcoming home. They should be hearts open to the love of Jesus. They should be hearts free from resentments and open to accept and love everyone without any distinction or reservation. They should be forgiving and compassionate hearts.
Then of course, we could celebrate with presents, decorations and so on, but our celebrations should be the expression of our joy for the birth of our Saviour. They should not be extravagant celebrations but rather moderate ones, keeping always in our minds that there are others who do not have the means to have a decent meal let alone celebrate. And one way to celebrate is also to share what you have with those who have little or nothing; to make someone happy and let that person share in the joy of Christmas.