What is the meaning of Christmas? Or more importantly, what does it mean to you?
Now as we all know, the story of Christmas is a major part of the December calendar in schools across the UK with children wanting to play Mary or Joseph in the schools nativity play.
Yet, nowadays, we have talent shows and plays without stories or meaning in December.
I recently watched the show in which a family celebrated Christmas as many did in the UK from the 1950s. Families went to church and then received a treat or two, like an orange and some nuts and a couple of pennies. They spent time together around the piano or wireless, sang together and laughed.
Then fast-forward to more recent times and we find more people are queueing at shops at 5a.m. than those visiting church on Christmas Day. Children are more bothered about bling and status. Most families are getting in to debt, just so they can provide what the children want.
Also in recent years adults are the ones who get more excited than the children. Companies advertise more towards their demographic now.
Gone are the days when the advent calendar hid a small verse or chocolate behind windows. Now there are calendars aimed at adults with a price-tag of £300. Each day as it is opened your receive a piece of jewellery.
I have an advent calendar which I use each year, I printed if off the Internet and each day provides me with a good task to complete. I might be to say hello to a stranger, or buy a homeless person a warm drink.
I have to say it makes me feel better than any piece of jewellery or chocolate could ever.
Another new craze is not having Christmas dinner, but going out for a Chinese meal or buffet. Again is this the case of laziness or can’t cook? I know I’ll be around my family table with my nearest and dearest on Christmas Day.
Whatever your perception or idea is of Christmas, the main things are, to take a moment and think of those less fortunate. Reach out to those alone and remember the gift of Christmas isn’t a game, phone, jewellery or a computer.
It is the time you spend with others and the memories you make that last forever.