What is Christmas?

by Janet Nwachukwu

What is Christmas? Some say just a holiday, some say Jesus’s birthday, some say home, and still some say it’s just gifts.

Christians believe that December 25 is the day we celebrate when Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary. The word “Christmas” comes from the old English “christesmaesse” meaning Christ‘s mass which was later shortened to Christmas.

Christmas is about Jesus; it’s his birthday. It’s the day we should give him all our abundant joy and attention for washing away our sins and dying on the cross for us.

But people often miss out on the real beauty and celebration of Christmas. Today, it’s all about the presents. If you ask, many people will tell you it’s about the lights and the Christmas trees and the decorations and Santa Claus.

In the boarding house here at Brook Hill, there are many nationalities. People from some of the countries don’t believe in God and some do. I went around asking what Christmas means to a few of the girls in the boarding house and here are some of their responses.

Danielle Adams, a senior from Micronesia, said that Christmas in her household is mostly spent in the American traditional way with the Christmas trees and Christmas lights. On Christmas Eve she and her siblings sleep in the living room and wake up under the Christmas tree.

Xiqing Lu, a senior from China, says Christmas is all about the cute stuff—decorations, snow, red and green—and it’s the start of a New Year and the end of an old. A special tradition she and her family share is on Christmas Eve they exchange wrapped apples with each other because apples are the fruit of safety and luck.

Sophomore Sarah Wegner says her family’s Christmas tradition is wearing matching pajamas, eating dinner, and all gathering in the living room to open presents.

What’s Christmas to you? Do you have any traditions you and your family observe? Let us know in the comments!

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