Christmas is a special celebration and has become a tradition for all Christians in the world. The way it is celebrated may specifically vary from family to family but there is a commonality on all. Some families give emphasis on the eve of Christmas day. Some have more activity on the Christmas morn. Also, there are families who celebrate it in the evening of Christmas Day. Itâ€™s also a bit surprising because Christmas is known to be a religious Christian celebration and yet there are already Muslim families who celebrate it. A friend said that they put up lights and decorate their houses as a show of social interaction to their Christian friends as well as take the opportunity to be with their family in praying to Allah. However, they still do celebrate Ramadan and Eids. They also put up lights during Ramadan and Eids because my friend and her siblings have fun doing it.
In our locality, there is the pre-Christmas celebration of attending the 9-Day Night Masses. There is also the belief that if the person has managed to complete the 9 days, then he/she would be entitled to a wish that Jesus will grant. Going beyond that, these Night Masses may be a show of commitment, faith, and trust in God. Most people would find it hard to wake up at dawn just so they could attend these Masses, and actually sticking through to it can be a bit of an accomplishment in these modern daysâ€™ hectic and busy lifestyle. Personally, I do try to complete the Early Morning Masses since it is our familyâ€™s tradition to attend. However, these recent years I have not been successful. I just make up for it by attending the Evening Mass on the same day, but of course it wouldnâ€™t be the same.
Our family celebrates Christmas in two parts. The first part would be during Christmas Eve. It would only be me, my Mom, my Dad, and our hired help. My Mom and I would cook something for the Christmas dinner and my Dad would buy other food that we might like. Then we would attend the Evening Mass even if we were able to attend the Early Morning Mass on the 24th. Upon going home, we would have our Christmas dinner and just go about our usual stuff. My Mom and I however, would eat again at 12midnight.
The second part of our celebration would be lunch on the Christmas Day. It has been tradition for us to go to our GrandMotherâ€™s house on that day. We would have lunch, exchange gifts, and have fun. The parents would usually talk about â€œgrown upâ€ stuff (i.e. business, politics, news, etc.). Us, Grandkids would also have our â€œconferenceâ€ just talking about random stuff, teasing the younger cousins, and we would also talk with our Lola. Christmas also serves as a family reunion because it would be one of the three times in the year that the whole family will be together. My Lola is 81 years old. Last Christmas, she was starting to forget the names of some of her Grandkids. With this, Christmas is a special time for us because all of us would get to spend one more day with her. We thank the Lord and the birth of Jesus for this.
Our different ways of celebrating Christmas might be â€œlife imitating art imitating lifeâ€. The first â€œlifeâ€ is referring to the history of the celebration itself, the very events that have happened all those centuries ago. â€œArtâ€ being the customs and traditions that have been handed down generations to generations in commemoration of this event. And â€œlifeâ€ as how we would represent what the people at that time did when they have been sent the good news that the Savior has been born. Our different ways of celebrating Christmas is art in itself. It is how we express our Christian faith and it also brings all people together to love and help each other.