When Christmas rolls around, some people spool out endless strings of lights; go on a frenzied shopping binge; cook enough rich food to clog the arteries of an entire army battalion; and wrap a gazillion gifts to stack under an over-glamorized evergreen tree. The December 25th Holy Day has become for them a heathen holiday resembling some pagan Bacchanalia of ancient Rome wherein wallowing in both varnished and unvarnished dialectical materialism is de rigueur.
At the end of the day, when all the fancy-wrapped packages have been ripped to smithereens, when the sodium-bicarbonate eases the belching only somewhat, and the batteries are on their last spark, these hedonists might wonder: Is this all there is? Is this what life is about? Is this the real meaning of, and ultimate reason for, Christmas? Then again, they might not even conjure up such cogent questions; but rather, plan next year's holiday with more rabid imagination and phantasmagorical intensity.
Christ-Mass [or the modern usage: 'Christmas'] is celebrated on December 25th to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ in a stable at Bethlehem in the Holy Land. The day is about not only remembering the gift of our Creator in giving us His only Son as our Savior; but in sharing that Divine love with our fellow Christian believers as well as the entire world; and in a more personal way, for us to draw nearer in our lives to the pattern which Jesus Christ gave us while He walked the dusty pathways of Nazareth, Capernaum, Bethsaida, Jerusalem, and Emmaus by accepting Him as our Savior, and living up to His ideals as given us in the Holy Bible.
The greatest gifts from Christmastide are the birth, life, teaching, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, born in Bethlehem. Today, we can still visit the Church of the Nativity in the little town of Bethlehem. Under the present church which is Christianity's oldest shrine and most sacred place, we will find the grotto, the place where Jesus (who said He is "the way, and the truth, and the life") was born on earth as one of us, His creatures; to show us and lead us on to His way into eternity. In the recess of that grotto, on the marbleized floor, is a silver star which tradition from the first century holds is the spot where Jesus was born. Ah yes, for you doubting Thomases: there is an eternity. And indeed additionally, there is the Judgment Seat of God. We all will ultimately have to own up to who we truly are and what we've accomplished.
On that still night two thousand and eleven years ago, when shepherds saw a star and heard angels sing praises to God concerning the birthing event in the humble village of Bethlehem, these livestock-tenders were the first to actually visit that infant child who was born into our world, who is Christ the Lord.
So to all readers, wherever you live: Here is a forthright Christmas wish from the billions of us who celebrate Christ's Mass in the dark of Christmas Eve or wee hours of December 25th... that you and your loved ones may draw your hearts and minds closer to the reason for the birth of Christ, and to Jesus Christ Himself. Merry Christmas for sure; but moreover, wishing every last one of you the choicest blessings from our Creator and Savior.