Christmas has always had a different purpose or meaning for centuries. Did you know, historically, that Christ was not born in a stall but in a cave because all the Inns were full, being that it was tax time in Bethlehem? That Christ was also born in the springtime of the year, hence, the shepherds were watching their flocks by night? That Christmas ended up being in December because it was that time of the year that the Roman Empire accepted Christianity? It is also speculated that the Maji visited the Christ child sometime after his birth and in Nazareth. Matthew 2:1-16 KJV tells the story one way and historians tell it another. You decide…as the Christmas saga goes on and on.
These are all interesting facts…thus every country has their own way of celebrating the birth of the Christ Child, or not.
In the modern world – Santa Claus seems to have taken precedent over the Christ Child as merchants want the people, quoting a song, to “rush home with their treasures.” Commercialism has certainly had a lot to do with the way Christmas is celebrated – no matter where you live.
My (commercially) Christmas experience this year, was when I went to Georgia to the Busy Elves Christmas Tree Farm to cut down a real live Christmas tree. As it turned out, I – according to the owner of the farm – was going to be the person who bought the smallest Christmas Tree ever sold at his farm in his 30 years of being in business. He told me, as he was laughing, “you never buy a small live Christmas Tree. It has to be at least as tall as you. In fact I cannot even sell you this tree. It is too small. I will buy it for you, or better yet, I will pay you to take it away… I cannot even put a Christmas tree stand on it as the drill is bigger than the trunk of your tree. However, you need to keep in water or it will die. And last, but not least, would you like us to strap it to the top of your vehicle.?” (We were in my daughters huge Ram Truck). Picture that one for yourself. A good laugh was had by all as I, unwillingly, but being coerced by the crowd of people who came over to check out the laughter, took the crisp new $1.00 bill he handed me. We then, put the tree in the bed of the truck; and as we drove out of sight,heard, Mr. Owner Elf exclaim, “I hope it is straped down good, or your tree will fly away.”
This was a fun experience – since I have not had a real tree in years, and have never cut one down myself. My granddaughter cut this one down as she wanted that experience. I think it is a cute tree, and all my friends like my tree, and the story.
HOWEVER – getting back to the real meaning of Christmas. One of my favorite Christmas songs is ‘Once in Royal David’s City’.
“Once in royal David’s city stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild, Jesus Christ her little child.
He came down to earth from heaven, Who is God and Lord of all,
And his shelter was a stable, and his cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean and lowly, Lived on earth our Savior holy.
And our eyes at last shall see him, Through his own redeeming love;
For that child so dear and gentle is our Lord in heav’n above,
And he leads his children on, to the place where he is gone.”
I agree with the following philosophy:
“This Christmas, as the spirit of the season permeates our hearts, let us do something that expresses our feelings in an outward way, showing that we understand that the babe born in Bethlehem is the real Redeemer. Without the Savior’s birth and Atonement, we would have no Intercessor, no Advocate with the Father, and no Mediator who makes it possible for us to return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father and live together as eternal families.”
-Gary E. Stevenson (Ensign Magazine)
I want to wish you, my readers, CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS in the REAL SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS – Joy in your homes, Love in your hearts, Peace and happiness now and always! God Bless!