What is Christmas?
In many countries of the world, the celebration of Christmas on December 25th is a highest point of the year. But why? Can it have any real meaning for us today? Is there a ‘real’ Christmas message?
It is belief in the past, courage for the present, and hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace!
Shopping centres become busier as December approaches and often stay open till late. Shopping centre speaker systems will play Christmas ‘carols’ – the traditional Christmas Christian song. Most places of work will hold a short Christmas party about a week before Christmas and even different church communities. Although traditional Christmas foods may be eaten, drink and plenty of it means that little work will be done after the party!
By mid-December, most homes will also be decorated with Christmas trees, coloured lights and paper or plastic decorations around the rooms. These days, many more people also decorate garden trees or house walls with coloured electric lights, a habit which has long been popular in all over the world!
But for us my family used to do it on the first advent Sunday together with lightning the first advent candle.
Traditionally, Christmas cards showed religious pictures – Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, or other parts of the Christmas story. Today, pictures are often jokes, winter pictures, Father Christmas, or romantic scenes of life in past times. They said the The custom of sending Christmas cards started in Britain in 1840 when the first ‘Penny Post’ public postal deliveries began.
Picture above I got it yesterday as a thank you gift from a nun, for helping brother Wilson a friend of mine by preparing and cooking food for the homeless under the supervision and auspices of Missionarinnen der Naechstenliebe (Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcuta), here in Vienna.Looks like so simple but was a hand made by nuns with love. Picture down here ME in action in the kitchen while rendering my power with L ❤ VE! 😉
Today in the West, not many people consider the religious meaning to Christmas. Most people in UK or Europe will not go to a religious church meeting, even at Christmas. It has become a busy race to spend money on presents, and get ready for the Day. A visitor from another world would think that Christmas was a festival to the gods of money and shopping.
We don’t have “PAROLS” here in Vienna just like the classic parols in the Philippines. Instead we have this “ADVENT WREATH”! As you could see on photo above here. 🙂
There is no winter or snow in the Philippines at Christmas time. The parol is one of the most iconic and beloved symbols of the holiday. Traditionally, Christmas Day in the Philippines is ushered in by the nine-day dawn masses that start on December 16. Known as the Misa de Gallo in Spanish and in Filipino as Simbang Gabi, or “Night Mass”, this novena of Masses is an important Filipino Christmas tradition.
For Filipinos, Christmas Eve (“Bisperas ng Pasko”) on December 24 is celebrated with the Midnight Mass, and immediately after, the much-anticipated Noche Buena – the traditional Christmas Eve feast. Family members dine together at around midnight on traditional Noche Buena fare, which includes: queso de bola, pasta, fruit salad, and hamón (Christmas ham). Some families would also open presents at this time.
Christmas Day in The Philippines is primarily a family affair. The Misa de Aguinaldo is celebrated on December 25 and is usually attended by the whole family. In the Roman Catholic and Philippine Independent Churches, it is the main means of celebrating Jesus Christ’s birth.
The Misa de Aguinaldo is often celebrated between sunrise and 10 a.m., a schedule preferred by many Filipinos who stay up late on Christmas Eve for the night-long celebration of the Noche Buena.
“WALA NANG PAPANTAY SA SAYA NG KAPASKUHAN SA PILIPINAS!
BAGAY NA MATAGAL KO NANG DI NARARANASAN PAMULA NANG AKO’Y NANIRAHAN DITO SA EUROPA!” 😥