Christmas is more than a time of giving. We all rush around in a mad frenzy choosing and buying gifts for our family and friends for the big day.
It is the time of year that retailers love the most as they do the majority of their business at Christmas. Each year retailers wait with baited breath, as the last sales are totalled. They have sweat on their brow, I am sure of it, whilst they wait to know if sales are up or down. Each year we all get to hear via the media how well or badly the retailers have done. I am not sure why we should care and especially at Christmas. For retailers Christmas is first and foremost about sales and profit.
I wonder too what Christmas means to the average person as Christ is inched out of his own birthday bit by bit. Some schools are now changing their practise on the nativity and have removed the play from their Christmas activity. Also, some schools have now changed what they call Christmas and are calling it the winter festival instead of Christmas. I feel if that is the case let’s just get rid of the whole thing altogether. If we are not celebrating the birth of Christ, what are we celebrating exactly?
How can Christ be a bad thing? This was a child that was born a special person. Some people are born to be special. Others have to work and become special. Surely if nothing else we should celebrate the specialness. Three wise kings came to celebrate Jesus’s birth. They brought him three gifts. They gave him gold to symbolise his high status, even thought he was of a humble human family. Gold is a special and precious metal given to special people or for special occasions. This was given to him to honour what was special in him.
The second gift that was given to Christ was frankincense. Frankincense is an interesting substance that has been traditionally used for spiritual ceremonies in religion and spiritual practices. It is an aromatic resin. This resin comes from the Boswellia tree. This resin has a particular and pleasant smell. It smells quite sweet and a little bit musty at the same time. This gift signified the spiritual nature of the child and the special spiritual gift which was his teaching and special message that he would give to the world of man.
The third gift that the kings brought to the Baby Jesus was Myrrh. This too is a resin derived from a tree. This comes from the Commiphora myrrh tree. This substance was traditionally used by people to prepare the dead for burial. This gift signified Jesus’s short life and premature death. The kings were saying this child is special and he would do good work for the world and only have a very short life. The fact that these wise kings travelled far to honour the baby Jesus and brought such well thought out gifts is the reason we give gifts at Christmas. The birth of this special person and what he went onto achieve is the reason we have celebrated Christmas for about two thousand years. I am not sure what will be left if we take Christ out of Christ’s own mass.
Each year at this time we all give and receive gifts. How many of us give gifts as a celebration of Christ’s birth and life? How many of us concern ourselves with the true reason we are celebrating at this time of year? Or is it just that we are all full of the expectation of the material gain, as well as the spirits that we will consume? Is that more important to most of us? Maybe I am getting old and cynical. Spiritual sustenance is like bread for the body. Good eating and good nutrition. Christ had a spiritual message to enhance our spiritual well-being. Perhaps we should all take a little time out from the mistletoe and wine and reflect inwardly to nourish our flame within. Seems like the most appropriate time of year to do so to me.
I wish you a happy Christmas and the best ever New Year, and would like to thank everyone who has been reading our blogs and supporting our work over the past two years and for being so fab.
Have a great Christmas and don’t consume too many spirits. Stay safe.