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The essence of Christmas

IS the celebration of Christmas these days too commercialized to the extent that its essence is already lost?

ROQUECommercialism generally refers to the focus on or prioritization of material things and the profiting of individuals or organizations from it.

My concern about the “opinion” of some that Christmas is now too commercialized is the measure of what “too commercialized” is.

I believe that there is nothing wrong with the use of material things for Christmas. Christmas is the season of love, hope, and sharing. If “Christmas commercialism” means selling and buying material things without the reason of concretizing the spirits of love, hope and sharing, there will be no such thing as too much or too little commercialism—at any level or extent, commercialism will indeed negate the true essence of the season.

Focusing on or prioritizing the giving of gifts or spending of money for Christmas parties should not diminish the real essence of Christmas but strengthen it.

When the monetary values of gifts and foods do not really matter because we value more the thoughts and gestures of giving, sharing and fellowship, there should be no issue how much we spend to celebrate Christmas.

Perhaps, the more important Christmas celebration “issue” than commercialism is the extent or reach of the love, hope and joy that we give or share.

Do we limit our Christmas celebration to the members of our family, our relatives and friends?

During this time when millions of our fellow Filipinos are still struggling to rise from the devastation of the MNLF Zamboanga siege, the Bohol earthquake and the series of typhoons top billed by Yolanda, we are all invited to extend the reach of our Christmas celebration to include the victims-survivors of these man-made and natural disasters.

As the Child Jesus is the real reason for celebrating Christmas, we are invited to present Him birthday gifts through the most economically challenged persons in our society. As the birth of Jesus means love, joy, hope and sharing, we, as Christians, can make Jesus’ birthday celebration truly meaningful for Him when we extend the love, joy, hope and sharing beyond our comfort circle of family, relatives and friends.

The essence of Christmas is not lost through commercialism. It is lost when we do not include the celebrator, particularly through the poor people in our society who most need to feel His love, joy and hope.

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