What does a child love most about Christmas? He/she loves the fun, joy, laughter, happiness, togetherness and of course, the gifts that are exchanged, the mystery of Santa Claus and the beauty all around. This is the magic of the Christmas spirit — goodness and abundance overflowing from every corner of life. What does Christmas mean for an adult — for you and me? We renew our hope for blessings, we remember the promise that God made to all His children to give us a redeemer and we look to the gift of eternal life that is made possible through Jesus Christ, whose birth we commemorate. We celebrate the fact that we are among the chosen ones to receive these wonderful gifts, sure of the fact that we are the most loved and cherished of God’s people.
Both as children and adults, Christmas is a time for receiving, a time in which we expect great joy to enter our lives. It is a time for hope; it is a time for all things that signify happiness. And, as Christians, our primary duty is to share with others the same things that we receive. It is a time to give just as God gave to us.
Love is the cheapest but most powerful gift of all. Start by giving love to your family — unconditional and all-embracing love. Forget and forgive all the arguments you have had with them, the differences and the words of anger you have exchanged. Reach out and tell them how much you love them, how much you value their presence in your lives and re-assure them that you will always love them through all the ups and downs that you will see in the future. In doing this, you will be taking the first step towards the kind of love that God shows to you.
Look around you. In your community and beyond, there are always people who are in need. Some are in need of love, some need prayers, and some long for somebody to share their problems with and others need support to fulfil their basic needs. Over the season of advent leading up to Christmas, make that special effort to connect with those who are underprivileged in many ways. Be aware of those around you. Show compassion and kindness to those who have become hard and cynical and try to make a difference in the lives of a few people. This will be your gift to baby Jesus. We, as mortals, cannot match the divine offering that God has given us in the form of His only son; we can only give thanks for it and pass it on by sharing the message that Jesus Christ brought us, through our actions.
Give yourself a gift. Take one thing that you do not like about yourself and promise to change that over the next year. If one is depressed and anxious, promise yourself that you will walk towards positivity and light. If you think you are being caught in the web of materialism, make the conscious effort to turn direction and involve yourself in activities that are altruistic and selfless. If you have taken on a habit that you know is not right, be brave and put a stop to it. Make a change. Your awareness about yourself and your weakness will make you a better person and a better Christian. What better way to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ than trying to be like Him?
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)