What a meaning Christmas has for Catholic children. Christmas has its origin in a family, the Holy Family. Which makes it easier to identify with its protagonists.
From the historical point of view, as well as from an anthropological point of view, Christmas is a family holiday, because it is within a family where God came into the world. Just as it is in the bosom of a family where we all receive life.
Christmas for Catholic families
Christmas is first of all a party; and this, like the game, is something children understand, and live, divinely. We can then resort to any image that the child can easily associate with a party. The most appropriate image would be then, the birthday. Yes, Christmas is celebrating the birthday of our friend Jesus.
The first Christians did not know this party. It will be in the year 354 when Pope Liberius will establish for the first time the feast of Christmas, making it coincide with the time when the sun worship was celebrated in the Roman Empire. It was a way of saying that for Christians Jesus Christ is our true sun, the One who gives us life, cares for us and feeds us.
Christmas is a family party. Which is more than a topic, it’s a reality. Around Christmas parties families try to get together and when this is not possible send letters, congratulations, and all kinds of messages with the best wishes for peace, love and happiness. All of which is perfectly understood because the historical origin of Christmas is in a family, the Holy Family, the family in which Jesus of Nazareth was born and grew up. His parents lived great joys, and also suffered great difficulties like many families today. They belonged to a very specific culture and religion, they were Jews. And as such they raised their son in faith and in the love of God and all that God loves.
On the other hand, from the anthropological point of view, the love and tenderness that occurs in many families between spouses, and between parents and children is the clearest example of what God’s love for us is like.
We often associate Christmas with consumption.
It seems as if to be happy we need to spend a lot, and buy almost everything. But happiness is not given by many gifts but by feeling loved by others.
Christmas is, of course, a time to enjoy the family and to love it, but not in any way, but in the same way that God cares for us, with tenderness, with infinite respect. Christmas is a reminder of how all men should love each other. It is a time to praise and thank God for all that he gives us during the year (health, family, friends, joy, hope, hope …) and what he will offer us in the New Year that will soon start.
Christmas lasts only a few days in the calendar, until the day of Jesus’ Baptism, but ?? Christmas ?? it can always be if we allow ourselves to be guided in our daily life by that same star that guided the wise men of the East towards the Light that knows no end and that is the beginning and end of all creation, Christ Jesus.