A song about the joys of Christmas. The lyrics suggest that there is more to Christmas than gifts, parties and decorations.
In the words of the old Perry Como hit, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” And it is: the pandemic has got many people yearning for festive cheer a bit earlier than usual, with trees, lights, tinsel and baubles appearing in homes and shops much sooner than they would normally.
It is also a time when people reflect on the past year, particularly in the light of tragedies such as the Grinch and the Orlando mass shootings. And it is a time for giving back to the community with various charity initiatives. This is all in addition to the normal business and family activities that are part of the holiday season.
One of the most significant aspects of the holiday season is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Christians believe that this was the moment at which God became human, a gift to all mankind. The name Christmas is derived from Cristes maesse, an old English term for Christ’s Mass.
Early Christian celebrations of the midwinter solstice were merged with those of Easter, but as Christianity developed and spread throughout Europe and beyond, it took on its own traditions and meanings. In many places, these grew and merged with pre-Christian festivals of the winter season.
Christmas has become a major religious holiday for millions of people around the world, but it has also long been a secular family celebration with the gift-giving of presents and a mythical character called Santa Claus. In recent centuries, the holiday has grown in importance and scope, becoming a significant event for shoppers worldwide.
The jolly old elf with his magical sleigh and flying reindeer has become an integral part of the holiday for millions of children, but his origin is obscure. One theory is that he was inspired by the story of St. Nicholas, an ancient Greek monk who gave away his wealth to help the needy and was rewarded with an honorary day of Christmas on December 6.
Putting up the tree early is another way that families can feel that “it’s beginning to look a whole lot like Christmas.” This allows for the application of creativity and bonding as family members put on the ornaments. It is a fun activity that can be done together, and it can also be used to discuss holiday memories and history.
Re-enacting the nativity is another great way to bring the true message of Christmas into focus. This can be a big production with costumes and props, or it can be as simple as parents and kids (and older siblings) acting out the story extemporaneously. Either way, this can be a powerful and moving experience for all involved. Whether it is Oscar-worthy or just spur of the moment, a home nativity play can be a wonderful Christmas tradition.