Christmas is considered a national holiday in many countries around the world. The celebration is held on the 25th of December annually. It is a celebration that embraces different cultures, and produces traditions that have stood the test of time. However, what does Christmas mean?
What Does Christmas Mean?
Christmas can mean a million different things, depending on who you ask. To some, Christmas is a time of celebration where families come together to eat and be merry. Elaborate meals consisting of turkey, stuffing, sides, and rolls are consumed. Living rooms are littered with thousands of presents for the whole family. But is this really what Christmas is all about?
When you break down the terms, you find an even deeper meaning to Christmas. Most people will recognize the phrase “Merry Christmas” Most people have come to associate that phrase as a good tidings and wishing that everyone has a good Christmas season. The term “merry” means to make happy. It is a phrase that means joyful and light hearted, and generally shows that the person is wishing another well.
However, Christmas is a different word all together. Most historians agree that the early fourth century church was using the words “Christ Mass.” “Christ Mass” translates into the death of Christ, instead of the birth of Christ. Mass is a solely Catholic word that is used to represent an event normally associated with death. It seemed that the early church wished people to use Christmas as a time to remember the Savior and to remember that he died for our sins. This practice probably came along since the Bible never specifically stated a date in which Jesus Christ was born. There have been thousands of arguments among historians to help determine the exact birthday of Jesus, but they have only determined that a spring birthday would be more plausible. Since there wasn’t an official birthday, and the church wanted to convert some pagan holidays into more Christian friendly holidays, the Pope decided to announce that from that moment forwards the 25th of December would be considered Jesus’ birthday. No one is sure why they didn’t change the name away from Christmas, but the popularity of the name stuck.
The True Meaning of Christmas
The meaning of Christmas has changed many times throughout the years. The meaning of Christmas changes depending on the person you ask. The majority will agree that Christmas is a time to be merry and to come together as a family. They will argue that the Christmas meal is one of the best ways to celebrate the holiday. Regardless of your theological viewpoint, many people entertain the notion that the true reason for the season is family. Families coming together has always been a staple of the holiday. People find that miraculous things happen when people are possessed with the holiday spirit. No matter the reason, Christmas is one of those holidays that has endured the test of time and still prevails today.