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Are We Losing Sight of the True Meaning of Christmas?

untitledWhat is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Christmas? For many, it is probably Santa Claus, reindeer, presents, or a Christmas tree. For a few, however, maybe it is Jesus. The fact that I have to include the word “maybe” indicates a problem that must be fixed.

It is no secret that society has turned Christmas into a moneymaking machine. Businesses, restaurants, and television networks advertise Christmas excessively until we cannot take it any longer. Why? They want to make as much money as possible.

The religious aspects of Christmas are rarely, if at all, brought up in society. The media continues to treat Christmas as a secular holiday, making efforts to include everyone in the spirit of Christmas.

I am not saying it is wrong to include everyone, because as a Catholic the Catholic Church’s message is that all people are welcome. However, it is not right that the media tries to portray Christmas as a wonderful holiday, yet fails to acknowledge the religious reasons behind the celebration.

For example, think about something as simple as a Christmas radio station. Do you ever hear religious Christmas songs played, such as “Hark the Herald Angles Sing” or “Silent Night”? Or do you hear songs such as “Frosty the Snowman” or “Jingle Bells”?

Now, I am not suggesting that no one should listen to “Jingle Bells”; that is not the point. Personally, like most people, I love all of the Christmas songs played on the radio. However, I believe that some religious Christmas songs should also be played.

Frosty the Snowman is a very popular Christmas movie. Photo courtesy of Cartoon Bros.

Frosty the Snowman is a very popular Christmas movie.
Photo courtesy of Cartoon Bros.

In relation this, lets examine some of the classic Christmas movies that we all love to watch. Personally, I cannot think of one popular Christmas movie that focuses on Jesus. Some of the most popular Christmas movies such as Elf, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town simply have nothing to do with the religious aspects of Christmas.

I am not saying it is wrong to love these movies, as these are some of my personal favorites. Again, I am addressing the issue that none of these movies mention Jesus.

Christmas, for many, has come to mean a time to receive presents and watch movies that include talking snowmen.

Christmas, for many, has come to mean a time to make cookies and have snowball fights.

Christmas, for many, has come to mean a time to buy the most expensive Christmas decorations and have the most extravagant gingerbread house.

Christmas, for many, has come to mean a time to wear ugly Christmas sweaters and get a manicure with holiday designs.

When will Christmas be recognized for what it truly is: a time of renewal in the Church, a time to strengthen your relationship with Jesus, a time to show gratitude for everything you have, a time to spend with loved ones, and a time to help others who are less fortunate than yourself

The Christmas Concert is one of the many ways IHA celebrates the Christmas season. Photo courtesy of Mike Hamlett Photography

The Christmas Concert is one of the many ways IHA celebrates the Christmas season.
Photo courtesy of Mike Hamlett Photography

Fortunately, IHA girls have not lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. I asked some IHA girls what Christmas meant to them and here are the responses I got.

“Christmas to me means that it is a time to strengthen my relationship with God. Christmas always makes me appreciate the people in my life who make it so great. It makes you appreciate everything and everyone that you’ve been blessed with,” said IHA junior, Maeve Kelly.

“Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ. It is a time to remember everything we have and to give to others who have less then us,” said Eilis McLaughlin’18.

“When I think of Christmas, I think of family and friends. Nothing is better then celebrating Christmas with the people you love,” said Bridget Dimaano’18.

Let us all try to keep this idea of Christmas in our minds as the holiday season progresses, in hopes of having a month full of love and joy in our lives.

By Emily Koehne’18, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

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