The True Meaning of Christmas

The True Meaning of Christmas

Savana Freyman

Savana Freyman, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again. December has come with it all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights on the rooftops, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, merry music playing inside store fronts, stockings hanging in the living room, or shouts of “Merry Christmas” to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?

“To me I think the true meaning of Christmas is to spread joy to everyone. I think people these days focus on things like gifts and, of course, being under the mistletoe with that special someone,” Derrick Michaud, junior, said.

In order to understand where these Christmas traditions come from, you must take a look into the past.

In the dead of winter, when the earth and darkness had almost become one, there came a ray of hope—the winter solstice. The celebration of the solstice is the “official” end of winter and the beginning of the lengthening of days.

By the Middle Ages, “Christians” celebrated Christ-Maas (the mass of Christ) and then they would leave the churches and cathedrals to join in a revelry that included a drunken street party.The celebration of Christmas eventually found its way into American culture with the publishing of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The story emphasized good will and peace towards all, and these sentiments rang true with what people supposed the Christmas holidays should to be about.

By the mid-1920s the Christmas trees, holiday cards, festival of lights, gift giving, feasting, and Santa Clause were all a part of our culture—to the extent that many believed this was the way Christmas had always been celebrated.

Christmas is given so much advertising, publicity, and promotion. Yet, although many celebrate Christmas every year, most don’t know what it’s about. In spite of all the media promotion of Christmas, the majority of people don’t know the history of why we celebrate it because it has become so obscured.

“I think Christmas is about spending time with your family and friends. It’s also about appreciating everything you have! I think stores try to make it seem like Christmas is about the materialistic things. I don’t feel like people actually “need” things for Christmas, we should just be happy with what you have,” Stephanie Sparks, junior, said.

Modern Christmas has a way of bringing people together with the common theme of dinner, gifts and holiday cheer. “Its about spending time with people you love and enduring your family,” Mackenzie Dulin, junior, said.

No matter how you celebrate Christmas, or what it signifies to you, be jolly and filled with holiday cheer.