by Chris Chaos
Christmas means different things to different people. There is a multitude of meanings and interpretations that Christmas brings to the various people of the world. The holiday weighs heavy in the hearts of many and is special in its own way.
TO CHILDREN it is a time of being good, making a list, visiting Santa at the mall, a time to get presents, to go and visit with Grandma and eat her cookies. A time to bundle up, put on the gloves and take the sled to the hill down the street. The tales of Frosty the Snowman, Santa, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and other fictional characters associated with the joyful season. When a child turns on the TV he will see A Christmas Story with the famous line of "You will shoot your eye out." The child can also see the very old classic favorite A Charlie Brown Christmas and laugh about the scrawny tree featured in the story. Or maybe the classic film of A Miracle on 34th Street.
TO CHRISTIANS Christmas means celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is a very religious experience and time to reflect on their God and indulge in their traditions. It just very well may be the most important holiday to a practicing Christian. There are many themes going on and a common mantra may be "to keep Christ in CHRISTmas." Some may attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve due to the belief that Jesus was born at night. Many of the dates and imagery associated with Christmas have been heavily borrowed from Pagan traditions such as Santa Clause is based on Father Christmas, The Christmas Tree is based on the Pagan act of bringing trees inside and decorating them.
TO PEOPLE that are not overly religious it means tradition and time spent with family. A time to hang the wreath, put up and decorate the tree, lift the little one up to place the star on top of the tree. Some families may bake pies, cook a ham or plan family dinners together. Sit around the fire and watch assorted Christmas movies. Some may feel the urge to do something good for a person less fortunate than themselves. Whether it be donating toys to a cause, volunteering at a food bank, feeding a homeless person or some other good deed, if you have it, pay it forward.
TO RETAIL STORES it means sales. From Black Friday until Christmas this will make or break a business and this is the time to kick it into high gear and run all of their sales. Sometimes you can see Halloween and Christmas items for sale in stores side by side. To the store each person that walks through the door around Christmas time is viewed as a dollar sign to be exploited at each and every aisle.
TO SOME ATHEISTS or other individuals that do not partake in the Yuletide cheer it means annoying music, long lines at stores, traffic, angry mobs, terrible parking and cold weather.
But to each their own. Take the parts that you like and be with the ones that you love. Merry Christmas.
Feel free to share what Christmas means to you in the comment section below.
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(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com)