Christmas is a considered to be one of the happiest festive seasons in the world and yet it is also stained of some problems. We are bombarded by videos on television and advertisements on social media about what an ideal Christmas should look and feel like. But there are some problems that stain the “Merry Christmas.”
Complete family members on Christmas day. We have this idea that family should be together on Christmas day. But there are at least eleven to twelve million OFWs based abroad and obviously, there are many families who will not see their loved ones on Christmas day. It will, therefore, be wrong to have this ideology that we should always think that being complete means happiness. As much as we want to, it will not always be possible to the lives of many. To be honest, mas nakukumpleto pa nga ang pamilya kapag may namatay na.
I bumped into this German advert which is true
If we always believe that our happiness is based on having all the family members during Christmas day, we will wait for a long time because it may not happen so soon.
There are also people whose work and family commitments have relocated them far away or overseas and therefore going to see the family on a Christmas day will be so hassle and costly. The cost of the airfare, the ‘pasalubong,’ the pocket money, is so overwhelming that sometimes the whole year earnings and savings are used up because of the Christmas day. Kaya minsan sa Pasko labasan ang sale 80% discount, pagkatapos ng pasko bagsak presyo…pero tingnan mo sa January, parang ghost town ang mga malls…walang katao-tao kase ang pera ng mga tao kase naubos na! Sa Batangas: “purdoy” na.
I suggest to many talks I do to keep the Christmas merry, whether the family is complete or not, whether may regalo o wala, whether may cheese ball o wala, Christmas is a time to enjoy wherever and whatever we have.
Financial burden. That’s another problem of Christmas…it becomes a business and commercial-oriented. Para kumita lalo ang mga businesses and tayo naman na mga consumers nauubosan ng pera, yung iba kaskas na ang credit card at debit card. May joke sa London na pagka ang tao loan dito, loan doon, it rhymes with “Loan Do’n” then people say it like: London. Buong taon na naman babayaran ang utang…then the same cycle sa December ulet. Kaya hindi makaahon sa kahirapan ang tao dahil sa dami ng utang. If is true, then that is considered to be a problem on a “Merry Christmas” – of having too many financial burdens.
Romantical fairy tale. Madalas awitin sa pasko ang “Pasko na sinta ko, hanap–hanap kita…” and “Last Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day, you take it away...” The problem with these songs is that not everyone has a love life. Some of them may have lost loved ones or the marriage or relationship may have broken down that end up in divorce or annulments.
Let us not be disillusioned that Christmas should always be a fairy-tale romance as there are times that Christmas could end up in break-ups and separation. Syempre kung lahat ng mga lovers gusto nila kasama nila ang kanilang kasintahan nila pag pasko. But, paano kung marami kayo at hindi ka nag-iisa sa kanya? I don’t want to sound like pessimist here, but I am trying to make a point that whether meron kang mahal sa tabi mo, you can choose Christmas to be merry. Our happiness should not be based on somebody because happiness is a choice. It should not be based on someone or something, but it should be our decision to be happy anyway.
Christmas blues. Many people fall into a trap of Christmas as a time to get loose. They drink and get drunk and start to do immorality among themselves, intentional or non-intentional…but this is not an excuse to suffer for many years because of that ‘one mistake’ or a ‘one night stand’ that occurred. Then some will say: “I was drunk and was not aware of what I was doing.”
This is another problems on the “Merry Christmas” that we must be aware of. Christmas is a time for “happyness” but not happenings that we shall regret. Be sober. Know what your limits are and know what is going on. Don’t be foolish on Christmas.
Elements of Christmas
Finding where Jesus is. Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:1–2)
Notice, it was His star. Are we guided by the Star to find our way as we go through life? Have we found Jesus? Or are we busy finding a place to celebrate Christmas with others? I do not say we only have to do that on Christmas Day but for the sake of this topic, can we ask ourselves: “Where is Jesus in my life?” Am I doing what makes God happy? Even the magi, who are considered to the “Wise Men” find Jesus. They may be called ‘wise’ because of their passion for finding Jesus.
The gift to Jesus. The Wise Men fell down and worshiped Him: More important than their gifts is the fact that they worshiped Jesus. It must have been a curious sight to see these important dignitaries bowing before a young child.
What is your gift to God? Maybe you have completed your shopping list this Christmas to give away to your loved ones and inaanak. But, what is your gift to God?
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. (Hebrews 13:15 NIV). The Scripture command us to offer a praise from our lips that declare the glory and goodness of God. The Lord loves when we share to others about His goodness. That is something we can offer God on Christmas day.
In Hebrews 13:15 it says that this sacrifice is to be offered “continually.” When we worship God, it is not based on what others think or what we feel. Praise cannot be treated as a “reward” only when He gives us blessings. We praise Him for what He is not what on what He can do for us. Isaiah 29:13 says, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Regardless of our circumstances, we can praise God. It flows continually from a worshiping heart in good times and bad (Acts 16:23-25).
Change of ways. In Matthew 2: 12, it says that the Wise Men went back to their own country by another route. They changed their ways.
What about us? Upon meeting Jesus, have we changed ourselves? What changes have happened to us? Being a born-again Christian is not based on denomination but mainly on our relationship with God who changed and gave meaning to our lives.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17). Can we say that because of Christ, we have changed?
Merry Christmas to you all. But Christmas should be merry if we offer ourselves to Jesus as our gift, if we do, we can rest assured that heaven is waiting for us because we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Knowing that we are not going to hell is worth celebrating for and can make the Christmas a happy and joyful Christmas!