Do you know what Christmas is?
Aside from the universal belief of the Christian world that Christ the Savior was born on Christmas day, honestly what does Christmas mean to you? After loads of shopping and party preparations lately, I felt restless and lost and empty all of a sudden in the midst of the rush. I tell myself that after the 25th, things will run as normal as it had been in the past years. Then it felt like Christmas celebrations are just too overrated because too much resources are being poured out for just a single, meager day in the calendar. And who knows someone could be broke a week after the festivities (too bad).
Today, a priest spoke to me about praying for happiness. He says that, what the world needs are happy people. Because when people are happy, they behave better, and love more. Every society can count its progress on a happy citizenry.
And that the Lord wants us to be happy not only this advent, but for the days and weeks and years to come.
So I thought for a moment, maybe this priest saw something in me that he has seen in most people. I didn’t seem sad when I approached him, but maybe in his keen sense of people there could be something he knew I’ve been trying to put off. Then he says, “to choose happiness is what Christmas is about.”
Happy. Happiness. How can you say that you are truly happy? I thought maybe the meaning of Christmas for me and for most people is so closely related to our happiness. And in our difficult search for it makes it all the more hard for us to appreciate what Christmas is.
In my alone time, I started off a list of what could happiness (and Christmas) mean to people. Is it when:
You have finally learned to forgive the one who has wronged and hurt you?
And that you have chosen to forgive yourself, as well?
You have accepted that people can be mean and nasty (just like you), but it doesn’t mean that completely defines us?
You have went out of your comfort zone to show more love?
You are at peace with yourself, your current state, your desires and wishes?
You are thankful and mindful of what you have, instead of what you do not have?
You spend more time with people who matter to you the most – like family?
You kept your promises to people and to yourself?
You brought hope for people who do not have it?
And you have come to decide to be friends with God again?
And the list can go on and on, but I hope and pray that this Advent season we will be drawn to define what truly fills our hearts with joy – so we can make the people around us real happy, as well.
Don’t you think that is what Christmas is? 🙂