December 25, 2018

When you think of Christmas, sparkly lights and snow covered trees come into our minds. But have you thought about the real reason behind this wonderful season?

Growing up, we always had festive decorations around the house. My family loves decorating, especially my mom and grandparents. We put up our tree, some wreaths, and the stockings where you put all your goodies in. I remembered one Christmas when I was a kid, I got the puzzle that I really wanted. I had no idea why I got it, but I sure remembered that I was very happy that I did. In countries like the Philippines and the US, where Christmas is widely celebrated, it is hard not to notice the change in season. We go from fall to winter–and with winter, comes Christmas.

This year, I am spending the holidays in a Muslim country. They do not really celebrate this festive season in this country, which makes it all the more challenging. My perception of time is also not the best when I am on the road, so it is only natural for me to lose track of the dates. In a country like Morocco, Christmas is a really foreign thing. It is also not celebrated, and it if weren’t for my friend, Melody, I would not have realised that Christmas is in two days!

I asked myself, “Where did time go?”

Spending this season in a country where it is not at all celebrated also brought newer thoughts into my mind. You see, we spend so much time, money, and energy into decorating our houses with festive decors. Of course, we cannot forget the gifts, can we? Christmas is, most definitely, one of the busiest time of the year–with parents running around, and kids expecting the best gifts, it can be a tad bit stressful. But that does not have to be the case.

Gifts are nice, but these are only material things. The Lord gave us the ultimate gift when He gave us His one and only son many, many years ago. This gesture is why we celebrate the holiday that we wait for every single year. Many people wait and celebrate Christmas, but they do not know what the real reason for the season is. For me, that is sad. It is like celebrating a person’s birthday without really knowing that said person.

In order to celebrate this season in full joy, we have to know who we are celebrating. During this season, we celebrate the life of our one and only saviour, Jesus Christ. We celebrate the day of His arrival or birth, and because of His birth, life–as we know it, was never the same again. In a good way, most definitely!

As we celebrate Christmas this year, let us all take a moment to breathe and thank God for giving us the best gift imaginable: Jesus Christ. After all, we are celebrating His birthday. Let us not worry about the material gifts we are about to give and receive. Instead, wrap your friends and loved ones in a tight hug, and do not forget to pray for them. I feel like praying for someone is the purest form of love there is. It is the Christlike thing to do.

As for me, I am in the company of my amazing friends of whom I will give the gift of words and a massive bear hug. I hope you are all having a great holiday celebration with whomever you are spending it with and wherever you may be. Merry Christmas, everyone. May we not forget the real reason behind the most wonderful time of the year. Blessings!

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14 NIV

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