Monday, December 19, 2011

The reason for the season

By Hezekiah Kit Sales Canlas

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”         
You’ve guessed it! Nobody can ever forget about Christmas. Overflowing gifts, imaginary snow, candy canes, colored lights, delicious ham paired with Queso de bola, sweet manitos and manitas, noisy caroling outside the house, happy faces of children receiving gifts, the cold atmosphere, joyful friends and relatives splurging their money on shopping, and the evasive Ninongs and Ninangs. These are just some of the most common things you remember when you hear the word “Christmas”.
Aside from the things mentioned, there is an important person who plays an essential part in your annual celebration of Christmas, and don’t you tell me that you forgot about him!
Of course, he’s no other than Jesus Christ! He is the reason why we celebrate Christmas. Isn’t it obvious? Well then, let’s get to know the meaning of “Christmas”. According to, Christmas is “the annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.” In another definition provided by Webster Illustrated Contemporary Dictionary, Christmas is “a holiday marking the birth of Jesus Christ.”
We celebrate Christmas because we believe that on December 25, our Savior from sin and wickedness was born. Every Christmas season we spread love, give gifts and help people who are in need, just like the way Jesus Christ lived on Earth before He left His earthly life. If only every day were Christmas.
But, through the years, more and more children around the world are influenced by society into thinking that we celebrate Christmas for the annual receiving of gifts from the “plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed trousers and black leather belt and boots.” In this person’s arsenal are his cute little elves in his factory/house somewhere in the freezing North Pole, working on the gifts he’ll give the children who have been good every year. In addition, he has nine reindeers to assist him fly his sleigh and personally put the gifts under the kids’ Christmas trees! Yes, it’s Santa Claus!
Instead of Jesus Christ, Santa Claus becomes the person of the season, which sends the wrong message to the younger generation. In most parts of the United States, Santa Claus stands as the lead character of the yuletide. Children automatically think about Santa Claus when the word Christmas is blurted out. Sadly, Santa becomes more important than Christ, who should be the one given credit for this festivity.
However, unlike other Christmases celebrated by other races in different parts of the world, the Filipinos emphasize Christmas with Jesus Christ as the bearer of the season. Christmas designs are put up on houses and establishments which depict the baby Jesus sleeping innocently on the manger in the barn, with His parents Mary and Joseph, the Three Wise Men with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and the farm animals bowing down to their King.
Even though we may have the longest celebration of Christmas (starting on the month of September until mid-January) unlike any other country, I can say we have the best. We celebrate not because of Santa Claus, but because of Jesus Christ our Savior, who is the main reason for the season.

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