Christmas might have a lot of meaning for different people in different places. There are just too many objects that could be associated with Christmas. Peopleâ€™s perspective of these also changes as time passes by, when they grow up, grow old, or just become mature.
In preparation for answering this question, I conducted a survey that of what 3 things come to mind when they hear of the word: â€œChristmasâ€. The answers of the respondents were diverse. Some focused on the commercialized items like Santa Claus and Christmas decorations (tree, wreath, feast, etc.). Others emphasized on intangible things like love, family, thanks to God, forgiveness, joy, and the vacation that goes along with the Christmas celebration. Tallying the results shows that the top 2 items that comes to mind would be the Savior/Jesus and the Nativity Scene. Decorations and food are tied in the 3rd place.
With the answers that I got, I guess even if the celebration is highly commercialized by companies, most people do not forget the very reason why we are celebrating Christmas in the first place. As evidenced by the survey, Jesus and His birth as shown in the Nativity scene is still number one in peopleâ€™s minds during Christmas. The feast and decorations follows since maybe these are the ways that we show our celebration in His coming.
Personally though, the 3 items that I would associate with Christmas are family, gifts, and the Nativity scene. Family because I celebrate this holiday with them, and we are all present during this celebration. Christmas also serves as a family reunion for us and Jesus is also with His complete family on this day. Most people also celebrate this event with their own families and that has become one of the traditions. So itâ€™s really not that surprising if family is one of the top things that would come to mind when thinking of the Christmas celebration.
Gifts would not be limited to the literal physical gifts that we would receive during Christmas. These gifts would also include the blessings, challenges, and problems that we have received all throughout the year. Yes, gifts do include the problems because they are a part of life and as the old adage says â€œwhat doesnâ€™t kill you only makes you strongerâ€, metaphorically of course. Being that we were able to thank God for these gifts, it only means that we have gotten past them and we have moved on learning from the past experience. Gifts would also be a form of sharing oneâ€™s blessings. At Christmastime, people do tend to be a little kinder, share a little easier and love a little better.
The third symbolism of Christmas for me is the Nativity scene. It is just the best representation of the coming of Jesus on His day of birth. It shows Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the manger where He was born, the Wise Men, as well as the animals that were witnesses of the Holiest event in the Christian faith.
All these things combined, I think it just comes down to one idea: love. Christmas is for love. It was this love for which Jesus came to this world and sacrificed his life. So Christmas is a celebration of love symbolized by the items mentioned above. These things are all that bring home the spirit of love and life. And this is the spirit that makes Christmas so popular throughout the world even in Non-Christian communities.