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Why Christmas is the Most Festive Occasion in Christendom

Grace-of-the-Season
In Christian tradition, Easter is the highlight of the entire (liturgical) year. Yet, most lay Catholics and Christians have more attachment to the celebration of Christmas than any other festivity. It is kind of puzzling why an occasion held in the coldest of seasons is much more festive than the one celebrated during the summer. No matter how the shepherds of the faith insist on their flock that we should be more jubilant during Easter than in Christmas, there is this feeling that Christmas has more "warmth" than Easter - even if the latter is observed during the hot summer months (mainly applicable to those who live in the Northern Hemisphere).

Easter Sunday (and the entire Easter season) is the celebration of Christ's resurrection after His horrible death on the cross. The Resurrection is the culmination of all his preachings and works here on Earth - the ultimate triumph of life over death. So how come Christmas tide, the occasion of (what is believed to be) His birth anniversary, has a more jovial celebration than the former?

From my simple observations and experiences of Christmas, Easter, and other revelries, allow this humble lay man to list down the reasons why the Yuletide has a "warmer" and more joyful feeling than any other holiday of the year.

1. The symbol of family


Whom do you think of when we talk about Christmas? Santa Claus! Of course... And why not, especially if you are a kid? However, if your answer is your family, then we are on the same page. We all want to be with our families during the Holidays. The thing is, the obvious and magnified symbol of the Season is a FAMILY. As a matter fact, the Christmas story is all about a certain family: A mother who was in labor and about to give birth; a father who was looking for an inn so his wife could safely give birth; and a new born baby who was born in a stable and laid in a manger in the company of farm animals. It is a story of struggle, hope, and the triumph of family love.

Birth-of-Jesus

While Easter's message is the triumph of life over death, the narrative of a family overcoming all obstacles through their love for each other and sheer determination is much closer and more touching to human nature. It pinches the heart of any mother who cares for her children; it surely hits home to any father who drives his passion just to provide for his family; it amazes any son or daughter who desires nothing but the love and company of their parents.

2. Beginnings are more exciting than endings


When you read a book or go to a theater to watch a movie, on which part do you get excited the most, the beginning or the ending? I bet you would agree that you feel the most excitement when you are about to watch the movie or about to begin reading that most sought after book.

A story often climaxes when the protagonist wins over the antagonist and defeats all his/her adversaries. The thing is, it also signifies that the story is about to end. Even if it is a happy ending, you cannot help but feel a bit sad because the story is almost over. The best you can do to get yourself excited all over again is to re-watch or re-read it. Better yet, you can look for another good movie or book, and start from the beginning.

This, I believe, is very much like Christmas. People get excited when they start a new narrative or adventure, and Christmas is the beginning of the greatest life story ever told. Beginnings are about hope, of getting to know new things, and of exploring fresh experiences. You always get excited with wide-eyed delight at the start of every story.

3. No pre-condition before the celebration


Human nature craves for happiness, and suffering is repulsive to any creature. The thing about Christmas is that it does not have a pre-condition of suffering before you get to celebrate the occasion. Even Advent, the liturgical season prior to Christmas Day, urges Christians to be in joyous anticipation and preparation for the coming of the Lord.

In the case of Easter, all Christians will have to undergo and commemorate the time when Jesus' fasted for 40 days and 40 nights (Lent). Before celebrating the actual day of Christ's Resurrection, you have to encounter the days when He suffered and died a gruesome death - all of which were essential to our liberation and salvation.

Yet, humanity is not bereft of suffering. Human nature longs for relief and healing. While Easter demonstrates the ultimate victory of life and the defeat of death, the Christmas message brings the hope of life's beginning through the new born baby Jesus.

4. Year ender makes you want to remember


Coincidentally, Christmas Day demarcates the last 7 days of the year. How ironic that the day celebrating the beginning of Christ's life on Earth also marks the last week of the year.

Here is the thing, whatever religious affinity you are in, there is this feeling that year enders force people to reminisce, regret mistakes, and be grateful for the blessings received throughout the year. This is one affair you want to spend with your loved ones most especially, and it is incidental that the last universal celebration of the year is the Yuletide. Any celebration done in the company of your family is way more important than any colloquial party you are invited to attend.

Lastly...


Eventually, the baby will grow into adulthood. Our faith life will have to progress from the infancy of Christmas into the maturity of the Risen Christ.

May the Reason for the Season deliver you from annoying misery, and transform your life into a really inspiring story.



Photo credits:

The Season of Grace c/o greglweaver / Unsplash

The Birth of Jesus c/o Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
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Write for Your Readers Not for Yourself

I have great respect and admiration for fiction writers. They are able to create worlds and realities other than our own. Although essays have their purpose among the readers of today, plots and characters are more challenging to develop. It is like bringing to life something that does not exist. Stories, I believe, have a more compelling way to carry out a message through emotional entertainment.

Most bloggers have to settle with writing essays, while some others prefer to write their personal exploits– showing off their travels and the many things they buy. Whatever it is, I have yet to see a revenue generating blog that has creative fiction as its sole content.

write-for-your-readers

How do I mean by that? Well, fiction writers would normally pitch their stories to publishing companies. If their stories get a nod from the reviewers and editors, then they get published and sold in bookstores. But how about if, instead of submitting their stories to publishers, they make a blog or website to host and publish their stories – and let people read and savor these creative works on the Internet?

I guess the primary challenge with this feat, as with any blog, is to get the right number of followers and subscribers, who will read your stories with honest curiosity and faithful interest. The more readers you have, the more site traffic you get – and it is traffic that will attract online advertisers and ad networks to display their money-making advertisements on your website.

For news sites and magazine websites which are owned by established publishing companies, getting readers and site traffic are not much of a problem. They have an army of writers and online marketers to provide content and promote their webpages. Famous celebrities who blog about their escapades do not have an issue with it either - they have fans who will devour their write-ups with loyalty. In the end, any blogger or writer – no matter how he/she loves the art of writing – will be burned out by the question: Who the heck are reading my works?

Some bloggers out there will say that they do not care whether or not they get revenue from what they do. What matters for them is that they love writing and that they are passionate about it. Well, if they are not thinking of their readership, then they may just write their material in a scrap of paper and keep it inside the closet (forever).

The thing is, ad revenue is a mark that your blog is getting traffic, which means people are reading your material. If you do not care about traffic and revenue, what the heck is your blog for? You might as well configure its settings to private – without the advantage of maintaining a steady and loyal reading audience.

My take is that any writer should want his/her work to be read by people. Expressing ones thoughts, ideas, and feelings are good. Yet, deep in the heart of the writer, he/she should aspire to make a mark on the minds of people through his/her written work.

If you write in a diary, then your most probably goal is just to write for yourself. However, if you are blogging or writing a story or an essay, then you should write for your readers. Think about how they will receive your material. That, I think, is the mark a true writer by heart.



Photo credit:

Write for Your Readers c/o Unsplash / Pexels
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