The real meaning of Christmas
Not so long ago a radio station decided to conduct its own informal survey amongst persons shopping at a very busy city department store. The interviewers were
interested to know what people thought about Christmas. The simple question they put to people was: “What are your celebrating at this time of year?” The answers they received were varied and quite revealing:
“I’m celebrating being home with my family.”
“A holiday break; partying with my friends”
“I got a Christmas bonus.”
“I’m celebrating that I’ve finished all my shopping.”
“I’m not celebrating anything. I’m just trying to survive.”
What would we have answered if we had been stopped and questioned in that
Each year Jewish families gather together for a meal to celebrate the Feast of
Passover which recalls the liberation of the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery.
By tradition the youngest child begins the meal by asking a question: “Why does this night differ from all other nights?” More questions follow about the special food they eat and the way they eat it. The answers are then recited in unison by the guests and give a spiritual interpretation to the customs.
This Christmas perhaps we can learn from our Jewish brothers and sisters. Could we start a family tradition? Before we begin our Christmas meal, perhaps the youngest at the table could ask “Why does this day differ from all others?” And the answer could be given one or all, each in turn, starting with the parents.
Tradition. Something precious. Something life-giving. Something worth
remembering. Something handed on.
How can we make sure we hand on the real meaning, the real Tradition of Christmas ?
Kevin Mowbray, Mariste