THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS
For some Christmas is a day to receive gifts, money, praises. For others, it is a day to honor Christ. Then, there are people who don’t celebrate Christmas because of various reasons. Most have family members or friends to spend Christmas with, but the rest celebrate alone. Whatever the situation or the cause, Christmas DOES mean and IT IS something to everyone because ‘nothing’ is also ‘something’. To me, the meaning of Christmas is “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year!”
Ever since I was a kid I was fascinated with Christmas lights. The blue lights, the red, the green ones always impressed me and created a holiday mood. Yes, I know I skipped mentioning the yellow lights, but for some reason, yellow lights never resonated with me, white lights are preferred. The blinking of the lights, the glassy toys hanging on Christmas trees, snowmen, all have been and still are amazing. Although, birthday decorations seem more festive and at times more chique, the simplicity, and traditionalism of Christmas ones will always top it!
I should admit that I do not recall a single Christmas wish I had whispered in Santa’s ear to have come true, but I definitely had gotten Christmas wishes fulfilled. Never to forget that lovely letter I wrote to Santa when I was 9 years old asking for a red sweatshirt with Michael Jordan in the front that I saw hanging at a store. I did get that sweatshirt, yes, but few weeks before that I found my darling letter open and hidden in my momma’s purse. The realization that Santa doesn’t actually exist was shocking, but what can ya do? Well, I still got my request fulfilled at least! 🙂
Actually, the meaning of Christmas to me has never been connected with the gifts I have received (I have my birthday for that :D), but the holiday mood and the excitement everyone experiences around it is a GOOD reason to love Christmas. People standing in line to buy numeours gifts for family members, friends, neighbourhs, co-workers. Long lists of items they need to prepare Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day special meal. Lists that include as many people as they know, no one is forgotten. Opportunities for doing good deeds exist all of the time, but somehow around Christmas they double. This is the true meaning of Christmas–being happy, being excited, doing things for others, making others happy by fulfilling their wishes!
MY PERFECT CHRISTMAS
My ideal Christmas is the one when the family gathers together for dinner on Christmas Eve. Being a native of Bulgaria, we have always kept specific Eastern European traditions in terms of meals prepared for that evening. The Orthodox Church has had a huge influence on holiday traditions in Bulgaria and most of the specific meals we prepare and eat on Christmas Eve come from there. For example, the number of meals served on the table needs to be an odd number and no meat is served that night. Why? Because everything is symbolic. It is believed that because Christmas Eve is the night Christ was born, and because He was born in such humble conditions as a manger, then we should eat simple and plain meals like homemade round bread, white beans, peanuts, etc. Plain and simple! Meat is served on the next day, celebrating the first day of Christ’s life, and that’s also when we get to open the presents. I have met families who get three gifts each as a symbol of the three gifts the wise men took to Christ at his birth. I guess there are as many traditions as there are families on the planet, but it is the symbols hidden behind those traditions that make Christmas so special and Magical! Most important: it’s who you spend Christmas with and what’s in your heart!
MIRACLES HAPPEN ON CHRISTMAS
In Bulgaria we have the saying: “Чудесата стават по Коледа!” (The miracles occur around Christmas) and I think it is true. The true magic of Christmas, of course, starts with each one of us. The excitement, happiness, and love that is wished and spread at this time of the year touch even the coldest of hearts. The reflection of the sparking toys and decorations reflects directly on people faces. I think there is a certain time around Christmas when each one of us, adults, feel like a little child again. A kid that is excited about each new day, about the new snowfall outside, making a snowman or a snow angel, ripping the paper off his presents, carolling and feeding on the smell of Christmas cookies coming from the kitchen — this is the true meaning of Christmas and this is what I wish to all of you to experience this year!
To help you out and increase the holiday mood, I am sharing links to my top 3 favorite Christmas songs:
“It is the Most Wonderful Time Of the Year”
“Believe” by Josh Groban
“O, Holy Night” by Celine Dion