WHY WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS: an OVERVIEW OF LEGENDary THINKERS with IMPORTANCEs and IMPACTS

Christmas the Feast of the Nativity is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians.  It is observed primarily on December 25th  as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.  The celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving; completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath, Christmas music and caroling.  The festival is viewing a Nativity play, an exchange of Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christ kind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore. Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world. Here are some legendary views of renowned personalities of the world to focus on the importance of this festival.

Hunter Baker: As a fairly typical American child, I think I valued the guy in the red suit much more than I did the babe in the manger. In fact, I couldn’t put the two together! But since becoming a Christian at Florida State University about a quarter of a century ago, I have come to see the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ as the most important events in the history of the world.

Despite the significance of Christmas, those of us who have the easy freedom to observe the holiday are often too jaded to fully appreciate it. You may go along with someone to a service this year because you care about him or because it just seems that now is the time to do it.

If you go, do so with a new view about what is happening. Don’t go looking to be entertained by the music or stirred by the message. Those things may happen, but that is not the point. Go to worship God and to encourage others who want to worship him. Stand and kneel in solidarity with those who seek God’s blessing, his mercy, and his salvation. The church is about the children relating to the father, but it is also about the brothers and the sisters loving each other.

Lee Edwards: The most important thing about Christmas is that it invites us to reflect on the most important things in our life — our faith, our family, and our freedom. Our faith gives us hope, our family gives us love, and our freedom gives us the opportunity to practice our faith and to love each other — and of course the Holy Family.

Kristan Hawkins: Likely echoing many other Christians, I think I can say that Christmas has become less about Jesus and more about materialism, which is saddening. But as a wife and mother, I have the opportunity to present to my children the most important part of Christmas, which is the birth of our Saviour. As the leader of Students for Life, I find that it also has significant meaning for me as I teach my kids that Jesus started out as a little baby in the womb and that his life was recognized from the moment of conception. It’s a beautiful occasion to acknowledge the great love God has shown for all of us by giving us his own son in the unassuming form of a tiny little baby.

Kelly Monroe Kullberg: At Christmas we remember that God joins us on this curious blue planet full of angst and wonder. In Jesus Christ he shows his face. He reveals his heart of love. And he is forever for us in Christ, who is called “Immanuel” — God with us.

Sheila Liaugminas: The whole of the Social Gospel, the Golden Rule, all that is true, good, and beautiful was manifest in the Christ Child and spread in His life, teaching, and witness — spread “to all the world” through His followers — to change the world forever. He taught and showed that love is stronger than death, that evil can be vanquished, that humility, forgiveness, self-sacrifice, service to others, and unshakeable faith in God constitute a force more powerful than any other, and leads to the greatest freedom and ultimate peace and happiness.

DETAIL OF ADORATION OF THE SHEPHERDS BY GERARD VON HONTHORST (1622)

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