Beneath the commercialism, decorations, food and joy of this festive period, lies the very meaning and truth of it all - Christ, the Son and incarnate Word of God lying in a stable, born of the holy Virgin Mary. Here lies the very foundation, and source of this special occasion, that is profoundly filled with love, joy and hope. Christmas is a time when families come together in appreciation, setting aside differences, frictions and disagreements: coming together in unity and spirit. This is the same joyous and transforming spirit that led the magi to the very light of the world, Jesus Christ, and the same spirit that led to the ceasefire ( known as the Christmas Truce ) in 1914, during the World War I. There is simply something special, perhaps indescribable and unexplainable about this time of year, as society is transformed. Many people throughout the year are often self-centred, caring for their own needs and desires rather than others, with the goal being self-gain and individual pride. However, at Christmas, we openly buy gifts and write cards, trying to please and comfort one another with this act of appreciation and love. Whether or not we recognise the foundation, and source of this unifying, reconciling Christmas spirit of love, we can all agree that something very special takes place over this holy period. Even though the mad rush of December, consisting of wrapping presents and writing cards, leads to quite a simple act of sharing a meal, and spending time together, there is something overwhelmingly fulfilling about it all.
Christmas day marks the realisation that the human condition, undoubtedly has its flaws so to speak, but can reach great heights of unity, reconciliation, and love. The Feast of the Nativity is a celebration of God becoming man, so that we, as images of God, can be united with Him in communion. Communion with God cannot be obtained without being in communion with our neighbours, and the Christmas celebration certainly brings us all together as one. For those who witness this, within their families and environments at Christmas time each year, it would surely make sense to follow this glowing star of Bethlehem all year round, transforming not only this short period, but their whole lives into a joyous path towards this light of righteousness. Surely we should all seek the source foundation of this Christmas Spirit, Who is Christ.
'Your birth, O Christ our God, dawned the light of knowledge upon the earth. For by Your birth those who adored stars, were taught by a star, to worship You, the Sun of Justice and to know You, Orient from on High, O Lord, Glory to You.' - Apolytikion of the Feast of the Nativity