Christmas is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, now celebrated all over the world, regardless of religious beliefs. Resisting the magic of Christmas is almost impossible. For some it is vacation time. For others it is a time of meeting with friends, family and loved ones. A time of year in which we reflect on the days gone by, on the events we have experienced and on ourselves, to try to improve ourselves next year. Christmas, for Christians, is the day of the birth of Jesus.
One of the typical rites of Christmas around the world is to gather as a family, around the arranged table, near the fire or the little tree, to share the joy of Christmas. We also exchange gifts and good deeds, because seeing others smile that day warms hearts. The houses are decorated with lights and bulbs, a sign of peace and tranquility. In psychological terms, therefore, Christmas is a symbol of rebirth, renewal and change, but also of hope and confidence.
“Christmas is a season full of illusions, peace and love”, say the advertisements, but, paradoxically, real life is very different from this propaganda and the Christmas season is the period of the year in which the greatest number of suicides and depressions, due to psychosocial and economic factors. For many people, these days represent sadness and loneliness, dates that bring to mind nostalgic memories of childhood, remembrance of difficult events that happened during the year, illnesses, unemployment, violence, loss or separation of beings whose affective bond is of such magnitude. that creates a great void. Today, most families are disintegrated, they are single-parent households. In other cases, the death of a loved one is mourned. Families who are being extorted or who are victims of violence. Brothers who don’t speak to each other for years, or husbands who are getting divorced and hating each other to death. So where is the picture of the happy family sitting around a table this day?
Another factor that overwhelms at this time is the lack of financial resources. People are frustrated that they cannot buy a small toy for their children or eat a tamale for their Christmas dinner; prices are not consistent with the reality of a country as poor as Guatemala and only a few can indulge in certain tastes on these dates. It is worth underlining that, regardless of the religious faith that is professed, Christmas is a tradition of hope, affection and coexistence, very contradictory with the consumer culture that is promoted at this time.
A good approach to get out of this sadness these days is to rethink the true reason for what we commemorate and shed the materialistic environment. Here it comes to be humble as was Jesus, who was born in a stable. Let us remember that He is the reason for this celebration – although many want to ignore it – and that these days it is better to give than to receive. That will give us peace of mind and happiness, not a passing emotion like material things produce.
Although the exact date of Christ’s birth is not known, the important thing is to acknowledge with gratitude that he had the humility to come into the world and did so because of the immense love he had for human beings. The reason for Christmas is the celebration of God’s infinite love for mankind, because thanks to this, humanity has the opportunity to obtain its eternal salvation and the forgiveness of its sins. I wish my dear readers Merry Christmas.