Source: Soul Food

The Christmas season is rife with commercialism. Ads urge us to buy expensive gifts, radios blare out songs about reindeer and movies feature a jolly fat fellow who lives in the North Pole. Social gatherings, with much carousing and merry-making, abound. Unfortunately, there are often only scant traces of the true meaning of the holiday, the celebration of the birth of Christ, our Saviour.

As Christians who want to avoid the trappings of the “holiday season” we may yearn to retreat and simply observe the religious holiday. But, better yet, we can help keep Christ at the centre of Christmas by actively working to penetrate through the commercialism. Here are some suggested ways to do that:

Gifts: Give gifts to children on St. Nicholas Day and spend Christmas morning at church. Choose modest gifts and cards with a religious theme for family and friends.

Charity: Give to the needy, and teach children to do so too. Remember those who are alone and in need of love. Invite them to join in the Christmas celebrations with your family.

Music and Entertainment: Sing and listen to koliady (Christmas carols) on your music-listening devices. Meditate and ponder over the words and their theological message about the incarnation, Jesus’ birth when God becomes man in the birth of Jesus.  Consider taking time to attend a Nativity Play or concert of sacred music.

Decorations: Place an icon of the Nativity in your prayer corner or a prominent place in your home and display a Nativity scene.

Socializing: Remember to greet people with a hearty “Merry Christmas!” or “Chrystos Razhdaetsya! (Christ is Born!)”

“It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you. Yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand. –Blessed Teresa of Calcutta