While driving my darling daughter to school yesterday, she made an observation that made me think twice about the real meaning of Christmas. She asked me, “mommy, who invented Christmas?” Now besides having told her that it’s Jesus’ birthday on the 25th of December and it’s a very special day, and having read her books about the First Christmas since she was still a baby, I didn’t realize that she hadn’t put two and two together and understood that the reality of Christmas is in fact because of the birth of Jesus Christ.
To my seven year old, Christmas is all about receiving gifts from Santa Claus, who comes down a chimney (even though he’s a little overweight) or uses his magic to bring down all those gifts. I mean, children really don’t have the notion of what it really is like to go down a chimney with a bag full of presents. And what about travelling all around the world in his sleigh, taking gifts to every single child? To an average adult the thought of it is quite ill-considered, or rather, we don’t quite think of it at all!
For years we’ve been telling children all over the world about the magic of Santa Claus and how he gives the most amazing gifts. We parents and other family members supposedly don’t have enough Money to buy expensive presents, (which is what we want our children to think), so it’s thanks to Santa that they get them in the first place. But then again, children don’t even consider this.
The Christmas magic at my home starts on the 1st December when we put up our Christmas tree and I make sure that there are goodies for each day on the advent calendar. So all of this is quite a surprising experience over and over again, year after year, but after the question my daughter asked me yesterday, I must say that I was quite dumbfounded. She hadn’t received the true message of Christmas.
But it’s never too late to explain, so I sat my baby girl down to clarify to her why Christmas is celebrated and how it all began. I told her that it is thanks to that day in Bethlehem, in a cozy and warm stable, that baby Jesus was born. The day that while shepherds watched their flock, an angel of the Lord came down and said to them that Christ had been born. The day when three wise men set off to see him, as they had also foreseen that the King of Israel would be born. I further explained that when they arrived at the stable, they gave the baby Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh – the very first Christmas gifts of all time, and this is the reason why we exchange them, to remind each other of the birth of Christ. This is the reason why we celebrate this beautiful day, when families are all together and everyone is in joyous communion!