The harmonies of carols, chimes of the church bells and the gentle breeze accompanied with winter hues transcend all of us to the most joyous and peaceful time of the year. The endless debates of Christmas being overly commercialized and less heartfelt remains open for argument till end of time. The season of Christmas adds a flavour and a touch of irreplaceable beauty surrounded by family and friends. Being a season occupied with several activities, shopping is in the priority list.
Christmas shopping list commence with buying gifts for family, friends and other loved ones. Decorating houses each year with newer and older Christmas decorations is a tradition that is passed onto the generations. Especially putting up the Christmas tree and decorating it with various baubles, tree-toppers, stars, lights, Santa Claus figures and etc is one of the monumental moments to cherish for all that celebrate Christmas, as this is an activity done with the entire family members around, hence the love overpours with memories retained. Shopping for other Christmas decorations such as nativity sets, poinsettias, mistletoes, candles, Christmas wreath, tableware and linens, bells, candy canes, angels, gingerbread houses with gingerbread men, snowmen and reindeers is moment that ignite happiness. The modern twist of do-it-yourself Christmas decorations has been considered more eco-friendly as it preserves the environment, protects the planet and make it a Christmas happy not only for people but also for the environment.
An important event of the Christmas calendar is Carols. It’s the season where choirs are thrilled as they run on busy schedules with carol performances happening everywhere and they give their best during this season to end the year with memorable experiences. Music is an inseparable part of Christmas as from the time December begins, the firecrackers, church bells and harmonies create the mood of Christmas irrespective of what challenges we go through in our lives. No matter how tough the year was, the moods of Christmas that gets activated with the activities of the surrounding takes us to ecstasy. The more commercialized aspect of Christmas is when merchants commence rolling out their Christmas plans since early December with its offerings and in-store decorations which makes it look a lot like Christmas.
Reunion with family and friends closer to the festive season is a joyous moment that replenish the bondages. No matter the lengths and breadth members of a family have gone and settled down, when its Christmas all of them return back to where they belong to connect with the blood relations and share the true joy of the season with fun-filled activities. It is not only on the Christmas day but it extends to the entire week or month sometimes. The happiness of an extended family coming together to celebrate Christmas is not felt in any of other gatherings or activities. It is the moment where each family member expresses their love and concern for each other by sharing gifts they bought, appreciating the blessings they have received throughout the year whilst share a laughter with the stories to joke about.
Gifting goes parallel with Christmas as it expresses the act of thinking about another person and purchasing something they love to share the spirit and joy of Christmas. Most of the merchants advertise their offerings targeting the act of gifting this season. However, buying a gift for a loved one, wrapping it in a nice paper, writing a personal note on a nice handmade Christmas card and gifting it to the person on Christmas day or placing it under the family Christmas tree with the person’s name is an act of joy. Majority of the corporates, clubs and small communities conducts a small game named ‘Secret Santa’ gifting programme where the names of the teams are swapped in secrecy between the team and they purchase a gift for the person whom they have got and share it on the day they celebrate as a team. Secret Santa is an activity widely practiced across many corporate offices and social clubs to enhance the joy of gifting and friendship amongst the team.
St. Nicholas or as widely known “Santa Claus” is the most iconic figure on Christmas, perhaps extensively visible than baby Jesus throughout the month of December. Though the story of Santa derives from a person who led a devoted life, giving praise to God by living the real meaning of Christmas, Santa has been heavily commercialized where the business world use Santa as a selling icon to narrate the vibe of Christmas in their marketing materials. However, most of the Christmas programmes especially conducted for the children would definitely involve a person being dressed up like Santa Claus and gifting the kids’ various confectionaries and other edibles that make them happy. Children love to give Santa a hug during Christmas as he is picturized as a jolly well character that bring any gift they ask. The tradition of Santa leaving the gifts under the Christmas tree derives from the original story of St. Nicholas. However, even up to date, children write what they want from Santa on a piece of paper and place it under the Christmas tree, where they believe Santa would read and place it under the Christmas tree on Christmas eve whilst they are at church celebrating the midnight Christmas mass.
Christmas ignites a mood of happiness, joy and peace to the world and its people. Unlike any other festival or season, it brings the feelings of long-lasting contentment in heart, because it is the season of giving, forgiving, forgetting and remembering. As much as the commercial aspect of Christmas has been highlighted throughout the past decades, the true meaning of Christmas has been underpinned with overpouring commercialization. However, yet with the traditions passed across generations in families, the true spirit of Christmas has retained in greater heights. Amidst all the turbulent times the world has gone through since the year 2020 with the recent pandemic, celebrating Christmas as before has been a long-lasted hope in the hearts of people. We hope that all of you may have a blessed Christmas this year!