• Susan Pattis

What Does Christmas Holiday Mean to You? (Part I)

December is the Christmas holiday month, and I would like to hear your views and stories about your Christmas experiences. Over 70% of the world's population celebrate the Christmas holiday regardless of race, color, religion, age, or gender. Have you ever asked yourself the following questions? Why do you celebrate Christmas? What does Christmas mean to you and your family? Can non-Christians celebrate Christmas? What is the meaning of Christmas? Is Christmas meaningful in your life? Why do both Christians and non-Christians celebrate Christmas? Why do children like Christmas? Please send me your thoughts and stories for the next few weeks during this holiday season.


According to the Christian religion, Christmas is a Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, whom the Christians believe is the Son of God. Christmas is the combination of 'Christ' and 'mass' representing the holy mass, holy celebration, holy supper, or holy festival of Christ. Every year billions of people around the world celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. Although Christmas is a Christian holiday, thousands of non-Christians in many countries celebrate Christmas Day as a cultural holiday. Christmas is also known as the 'Feast Day of Christ' to remind Christians that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, came to planet earth for all human beings.


'Xmas' is an abbreviation of Christmas. Ancient Egyptians and Romans started to use Christmas trees to celebrate their Christmas holiday. Santa Claus stories can be traced back to a Monk called Saint Nicholas, born in the fourth century A.D. in Patara near Myra, a small village in modern Turkey. He was later canonized, then became a bishop, and soon came to be the most popular saint in Christianity. In the United States of America, the legendary figure, Santa Claus, brings gifts to children on Christmas Eve and is based on Saint Nicholas, the Christian Saint.


Friends, families, and loved ones come together on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve with joy, happiness, gratitude, and to worship. People give presents to each other while setting up Christmas trees beautifully decorated with the lovely Christmas ornaments while traditional Christmas songs and movies play in the background. The family Christmas ornaments hold the most treasured memories year after year with laughing, joking, cooking, hugging, teasing, and being together as a family.

Christmas also means shopping, visiting friends and families, or attending Church services. The Shopping Mall is the most popular place for families walking around the stores wearing antlers or Santa hats. Shopping malls are decorated with beautiful colors, lights, and various decorations. Hallmark stores, game stores, and toy stores are packed with people. All neighborhood streets are decorated with Christmas lights covering the trees, windows, doors, walls, and pathways. Every family decorates the house with lights and wrapped presents under the Christmas tree. Christmas Eve, the 24th, is the most memorable time for young kids because the family members exchange gifts near midnight.


Christmas Day is more about family than religious practice in today's world. Many family members can only see each other during the Christmas holiday. Christmas is about catching up with loved ones, reminiscing about good times, happy conversations, and joyful family connections. Christmas is about giving love and thanks to Jesus Christ for God's glory and sacrifice for human sins. People take the time to plan the Christmas holiday a few weeks ahead with various activities, such as the whole family watching a movie, reading Christmas stories, cooking the Christmas feast together, baking apple-pies, playing cards, organizing parties, etc.


Many churches offer services the whole day on Christmas Day or prepare a giant Jesus birthday cake to thank God for the birth of Jesus Christ on planet earth. For churches yes, Christmas is the biggest family party of the year. Most Christians wake up in the morning and pray on Christmas Day by thanking God for Jesus's birth. Kids of all ages wake up early to open presents, sometimes at 4 or 5 a.m. and sometimes not sleeping at all. Children usually receive toys, games, clothes, and shoes.


After all, Christmas might mean different things to different people. Future generations may not remember the core story of Christmas if the parents do not share with them the true meaning of the festival. The essence of Christmas is that Jesus was born to die for our sins, and Jesus is God's most fantastic present to all humans in this world.


To Be Continued.