Christmas’s English term “mass of Christ’s day” is of fairly recent origin. Since the early 20th century, Christmas has also been a secular family holiday, observed by Christians and non-Christians alike, devoid of Christian elements, and marked by an increasingly elaborate exchange of gifts. In this secular Christmas celebration, a mythical figure named Santa Claus plays the pivotal role.
The true meaning of Christmas is Love. It is the celebration of God’s love to the world, the Bible phrase says “For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” The real Christmas story is about God’s becoming a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ. Christians celebrates Christmas out of the gratitude for what God did for them, remembering His birth by giving each other gifts, worshipping Him, and being especially conscious of the poor and less fortunate.
Christmas began to be widely celebrated with a specific liturgy in the 9th century but did not attain the liturgical importance of either Good Friday or Easter, the other two major Christian holidays. Roman Catholic churches celebrate the first Christmas mass at midnight, and Protestant churches have increasingly held Christmas candlelight services late on the evening of December 24. A special service of “lessons and carols” intertwines Christmas carols with Scripture readings narrating salvation history from the fall in the Garden of Eden to the coming of Christ. Christmas is not about the Savior’s infancy; it is about His deity. The humble birth of Jesus Christ was never intended to conceal the reality that God was being born into the world. But the modern world’s version of Christmas does just that. And consequently for the greater part of humanity, Christmas has no legitimate meaning at all. A normal person’s mind cannot understand what was involved in God’s becoming a man, nor can anyone explain how God could become a baby. Yet, he did.
Without forsaking His divine nature or diminishing His deity, He was born into the world as a tiny infant, He was fully human, with all the needs and emotions that are common to us all. And yet, He was also fully God, all wise and powerful. Christians have been celebrating Jesus’ birth on December 25 since at least, the early fourth century. The first evidence of its observance is in Rome in 336 CE. The earliest Christians do not appear to have commemorated the nativity of Christ, but only the baptism and resurrection of Christ and the deaths of the martyrs. In fact, some early Christians, strongly opposed the celebration of Christ’s birth. Despite the objections of some church fathers, attempts to determine Jesus’s date of birth began early. By the close of the second century, numerous dates had been advanced, including May 20, April 19, May 28, January 2, November 17, November 20, March 21 and March 25. Although the month and date of Jesus’ birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid fourth century the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25, a date that was later adopted in the East. Today, most Christians celebrated on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted almost universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world. Moreover, for Christians, the belief that God came into the world in the form of man to atone for the sins of humanity, rather than the exact birth date, is considered to be the primary purpose in celebrating Christmas. Christmas is typically a peak selling season for retailers in many nations around the world. Sales increase dramatically as people purchase gifts, decorations, and supplies to celebrate. One economist’s analysis calculates that, despite increased overall spending, Christmas is a deadweight loss under orthodox microeconomic theory, because of the effect of gift-giving. This loss is calculated as the difference between what the gift giver spent on the item and what the gift receiver would have paid for the item. It is estimated that in 2001, Christmas resulted in a $4 billion deadweight loss in the U.S. alone. After Christmas, everyone’s most awaited holiday is the New Year holiday, which is celebrated all over the world with great enthusiasm and fun. In many countries, New Year’s celebrations begin on the evening of December 31—New Year’s Eve—and continue into the early hours of January 1. Revelers often enjoy meals and snacks thought to bestow good luck for the coming year. Earlier, it was a Roman calendar which was having only ten months and designated March 1 as the New Year. In the Gregorian calendar, there are 12 months in every year and the New Year falls on January 1 which is widely accepted and celebrated. Celebrating New Year is an untold tradition everyone follows and no one knows since when. People post wishes, go to New Year parties or cook a grand meal at home to celebrate. Some celebrate with friends, some with family and few alone. People usually prepare resolutions like becoming more active in society, more polite, having more confidence, earning more money, losing weight, reading more, giving up on cigarettes, reducing stress, and many interesting activities to make a change for who they are in the past.
The months December and January are said to be everyone’s favorite months since the weather is cold, where most sports and parties take place and are the best times to travel around the time and many more. They get to spend their precious time with the ones they love on the holidays. They make wishes or write their wishes on pieces of paper, hang them on Christmas trees, and wait for their wishes to come true.
Even though holidays are fun and exciting, they can also be tragic. The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that 40% of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers — a 12% increase over the rest of the month of December. According to the NHTSA, 2,597 people lost their lives due to motor vehicle traffic crashes during December 2010. The NHTSA also found that an average of 36 fatalities occurred each day in the U.S. 2001 and 2005 as a result of crashes involving an alcohol impaired driver. That number increased to 45 per day during the 3-day Christmas period and jumped to 54 per day over New Year’s holiday period.
And since 2018 has come to an end and 2019 has its beginning, we wish you all to be safe and sound. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.