What Christmas Means For Christians

ChristmasChristmas has different meanings for different people. For many, it’s a time for family, gifts, food and drink: but that’s all. Once the decorations come down, it’s forgotten about for twelve months.

For Christians, while they enjoy all the festive traditions, Christmas has a much deeper and longer lasting meaning. Christmas is the time when they celebrate the birth (nativity)of Jesus Christ, who they believe to be the son of God, as a human baby to Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem, over 2000 years ago.

The giving of presents at Christmas could be seen to symbolize the gift that God gave the world in his son, Jesus.

Christians celebrate Christmas through watching nativity plays which retell the Annunciation (or announcement) of Jesus’ birth to Mary, his mother; the birth in Bethlehem; the giving of the good news of His birth to shepherds; the visit of three kings to worship him and the flight of Jesus and his parents when Herod planned to kill newborns. Nativities often take place in church and are accompanied by carol singing: joyful songs which reflect the joy Christians feel about the gift they’ve received from God.

Many also attend midnight mass where they receive communion (bread and wine) as a reminder of the last supper the adult Jesus shared with his disciples before his crucifixion. The happy celebrations of his birth festival foreshadow His death but Christians are happy because through this sacrifice, they believe, their sins are forgiven and they will have eternal life.