This is probably the world’s most widely celebrated birthday party. Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th every year, it not only a religious but also a cultural celebration. While there are some Christian groups who refuse to celebrate Christmas, it has not affected the spirit of billions around the world including non-Christians to enjoy this very special day.
The day before and the day after
While 25th December is celebrated as Jesus Christ’s birthday, there is a lot of importance also attached to December 24th, Christams Eve and December 26th, Boxing Day.
Christmas Eve is considered a very important occasion by many within the Christian community. Exchanging of gifts and the traditional family dinner would be on this day so that the family is together to welcome the 25th. In many countries, Christmas Eve is declared a holiday.
December 26th, also known as Boxing Day while celebrated widely has no actual religious linkeven though this day is a holiday in many places. It is even traditional for Australia to play a test match in Melbourne that starts on Boxing Day. The story behind this day is that workers, tradesmen, servants, etc., received their Christmas gifts from their masters or employers on this day. Since everything was packed in a box, it was traditionally known as “Christmas Box”. Soon that term gave way to Boxing Day.
Over the years, many other theories like this one have been circulated even though none is definitive.
The Spirit of Christmas
The true spirit of Christmas means that you are willing to give. It is not about giving money or expensive gifts, but giving love and respect.This is open to interpretation and anyone can define it any way that suits them.
Giving is not limited to giving your material possessions. While it is noble and philanthropic to give money or clothes or toys to an orphanage, have you ever thought of giving your time to those children?
Giving is not limited to giving to your family or friends or those in your social circle. Giving also means to give up. Have you ever given up something at the supermarket that was the last of the stock so another person who is a complete stranger can have it?
Giving also means to share, not only wealth or tangible things but sharing your knowledge. Have you shared your knowledge with someone for that person’s benefit?
Celebrations round the world
Although celebrating the same event on the same day, the celebrations around the world vary. Different countries and cultures have diverse ways of celebrating Christmas. Parades on the streets, carol singing, Christmas plays are some of the different ways people celebrate Christmas. In many places, Christmas gifts are exchanged on St. Nicholas Day, while in others on the 6th of January.
Children and Christmas
It is hard to fathom a birthday party without Children. Christmas is avey special time for Children. To start with, schools are closed not only for the 25th, but for almost 10 days and in some places even more. Now most children will be happy with that alone, but there is more in store for them.
The two things small children enjoy the most are Santa Claus and the Christmas tree. Santa brings gifts for all children and leaves them under the Christmas tree.
The setting up of a Christmas tree and decorating it is something that children really enjoy. Putting up the stars and hollies, the ribbons and streamers, everything has a thrill of its own. The joys of anticipation are unlimited and once done, they are lit up to look like objects from fairy land. In many places, there are competitions to decide which tree in the neighbourhood is the most well decorated tree. Parents join their children with full gusto and some of the children’s’ vivacity rubs off on them as well.
Kanakalokaor Pere Noel? Kerstman or Babbo Natale? Don’t get alarmed, these are just some of the different names that Santa Claus is known as around the world. Santa is a mythical figure who along with his army of elves makes toys for all the children in this world. Santa’s list of naughty children is enough of a threat to most children when Christmas is round the corner. He travels all around the world on his sleigh that is pulled by flying reindeer. Rudolph is the more popular of the reindeers with his red nose.
Businesses around the world target to reap the benefits of this time of the year when everyone is stocking up on gifts. Special deals and discounts along with unbeatable offers are visible all around. From children’s toy stores to airline companies, everyone hopes to make the most of it. Many companies also give a lot of freebies to entice people to buy more. Loyalty benefits and frequent shopper benefits give added advantage to customers.