CELEBRATING THE X-MASS SEASON
As Christians, we celebrate the Christmas season in two separate but joint ways.
As part of a secular society, we follow the customs and traditions handed down and practiced by our family, friends, and neighbors. We play our favorite Christmas music (like Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer) and watch our favorite movies (like It’s a Wonderful Life, or better still, a Miracle on 34th Street; although, according to Marcia, Alastair Sims in Dicken’s A Christmas Carol is the best). We buy countdown to Christmas calendars, take our children/grandchildren to visit Santa Clause, and buy a Christmas tree to decorate.
As each day gets closer to Christmas, we start wrapping the special presents we bought for our loved ones, our special friends, neighbors, and those who provide a service to us throughout the year (mail, trash, newspaper, etc. people). As a family, we decorate the tree while listening to Christmas music. On Christmas Eve, we leave cookies and carrots out for Santa Clause and his reindeer and read “The Night Before Christmas” to our children. On Christmas Day, we exchange our gifts and share a family meal. It surely is a wonderful time of the year to celebrate, to be grateful and thankful for all of our blessings.
As part of a Christian community, we also follow the customs and traditions handed down and practiced by our family, friends, and neighbors in our faith. We play our favorite religious songs and carols (like O Holy Night and Silent Night) and watch movies that depict the birth of Jesus. We buy an Advent wreath and candles as our countdown Christmas calendars, set up our Nativity without the baby Jesus, and visit those who are unable to visit us and others during the holidays.
As each day gets closer to Christmas, we start preparing ourselves by going to confession, helping others in their preparation, and donating our time, money, food, clothes, etc. to those who are less fortunate than us. On Christmas Eve, we light all the candles, tell the story of Jesus’ birth, and place the baby Jesus in the manger. We are going to make ourselves a present to the LORD by participating in Christmas Eve or Day Mass and sharing in the heavenly feast of the LORD.
As a kid, my favorite time was going to midnight mass, especially when it began to snow and waking up early Christmas morning to see a snow-covered world and open presents. As an adult, my favorite time remains the same, except now I watch my children and grandchildren open their presents. We hope you celebrate the Christmas season in the way that will bring you the most joy: with Jesus, family, and friends. Merry Christmas!
– Mac & Marcia Hickey