Christmas Never Changes
Christmas is one of the best times of the year. Dazzling red, green and yellow lights line snow-coated rooftops and circle around frosted trees, illuminating the streets and bedazzling the winter night. Nostalgically familiar songs find their way once again into our homes, accompanied by that age old feeling of something good on its way.
One of the best things about Christmas is that it’s one of those things that doesn’t change. There’s something pleasant about the sudden reappearance of Michael Bublé on your playlist or the Home Alone kid on TV after a year of complete absence. No matter how many times you’ve seen it or how old you get, watching Will Ferrell eat maple syrup coated spaghetti in Elf will always be a staple holiday activity. The tunes are timeless while the aura is ageless, and those softly ringing golden bells and the ubiquitous presence of green and red will always mark the end of another year.
The tunes are timeless while the aura is ageless
Regardless of how you celebrate your Christmas, the spirit of the season will always be laced with virtues of peace, love, and joy. And these virtues are things that will never change either. It’s a chance to let our hearts be light and forget about stress and conflict — even if it’s just for a mere moment. No matter how the year was spent, what may have happened or the problems that were faced, Christmas will arrive as a moment to simply rest and take a breath. It can be a yearly opportunity to be amongst friends and family and see them again for at least a little while. It can also be that quiet sense of peace at a midnight mass, the warmth and joy in a choir hall on Christmas Day or a late night walk in the park with loved ones on Christmas Eve. It’s a chance to recognize all that was good and all the simple things we still have at the end of each year.
Christmas is also a time of giving. Not just giving as in the consumerist version of Christmas but giving in the sense of loving your neighbour and extending a hand. The legend of Santa Claus began with a man named St. Nicholas, a person who used his wealth to help others. At night, he’d secretly slip bags of gold through the windows of those in need. Loving your neighbour and giving isn’t limited to physical gifts, though; it can also be in the form of spreading peace, love, and joy in some way — gifts everyone is capable of giving. The idea of loving your neighbour and extending a hand like St. Nicholas is a yearly reminder of the good that each of us is capable of not just during Christmas but also during the rest of the year.
Christmas is a time when we can set our differences aside
Additionally, Christmas is a time when we can set our differences aside. One of my favourite stories is the Christmas Truce. Late on Christmas Eve during the first World War, British soldiers heard German soldiers in the trenches across from them singing Christmas songs and saw small little trees and lanterns lit up in their trenches. After shouting messages across to each other between trenches, the British and German soldier’s met in no man’s land on Christmas Day, laying down arms to exchange gifts, play football, take photographs and celebrate Christmas together with a one-day truce. After Boxing Day, of course, war broke out but the small moment of peace was a testament to the common humanity the soldiers shared and the potential for good even in the darkest and most divisive of places.
No matter what a year may bring — in our personal lives or in the world at large — Christmas will always come once again. It’s a yearly reminder of the peace, love, joy, and overall goodness that exists in our lives and in our world. It’s a reminder that we are all capable of loving our neighbours, finding peace, spreading joy, and recognizing each other’s common humanity. This goodness may be hard to find at times and we may lose sight of it but Christmas reminds us at the end of every year that it’s still out there. In Christianity, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ and the hope and joy that Christ’s birth brought to the world. Whether you’re religious or not, this idea of hope is something we can all remember. With the arrival of Christmas comes the hope for change, and the hope for something better for ourselves and for our world in the year to come. This sense of hope and joy at the end of every December is something that will never change.