Christmas - Spiritual or Commercial? Explore in Haikus What Christmas Means to You
What does Christmas mean to you?
I was reading one of Perspycacious' haikus. I commented that I hadn't done any of my own for a while and he told me, in so many words, to 'get on with it'. So I did!
Before Christmas the shops are crowded, sometimes pleasantly so, sometimes with uncomfortable jostling. Many spend hundreds of pounds on each individual. Some can't afford anything. Will this make their Christmases any the worse or unhappy?
Some try to outdo others in their spending. Some expect a certain quantity of presents. Some are grateful for just one. Let's think about the real meaning of this time of year, let's concentrate on the important aspects of the season of peace and goodwill to all men and women. Whatever our religion, or perhaps we have none, we can all relate to kindness, friendship, the wonders of a crisp winter's day and the joy of family.
So, thank you to Perspycacious for spurring me on and here we go!
Every Picture tells a Christmas StoryClick thumbnail to view full-size
Haikus for Christmas (And the Blackbird Sings)
Christmas berries glow
with frosted snow - but wait!
Blackbird steals them all.
Blackbird puffed up, cold,
thirsts when water’s ice - die?
No! That boy leaves drink.
Boy goes in to Mum,
No presents round the tree - 'cos
no money for treats.
Food money gone too.
Envelope is pushed through door.
What?! Mum can’t believe.
Invited to a
neighbour’s house to partake - wow!
a Christmas party.
Christmas party, fun
and games. The boy has presents.
What a day! All joy.
Mum is thankful but
nothing to give in return.
Boy rises, flings arms
wide with gratitude - a kiss
planted on the cheek.
Neighbour smiles at such
a gift; no more is needed
on this precious day.
And the blackbird sings.
Christmas ConnectionsClick thumbnail to view full-size
More Information about Christmas
- a festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly on 25th December as a religious and cultural celebration around the world
- before it in the Church calendar comes Advent, starting on 1st December (Advent Calendars etc.)
- Christmas time historically (in the West) lasts for twelve days, culminating on Twelfth Night (6th January or Epiphany - the visit of the Magi)
- In simple terms the word comes from ‘Christ’ and ‘mass’ - the religious celebration of Christ
- the traditional Christmas story described in the New Testament narrates that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, of Mary and Joseph of Nazareth.
- Due to the presence of many people arriving for a census, there was no accommodation available so Mary and Joseph were offered a stable for shelter; in that stable Jesus was born.
- Public holiday, religious and cultural.
- In several countries, especially in Europe, there are celebrations on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day which is much quieter in contrast
- In Britain Christmas is celebrated on the 25th, usually with a special family lunch traditionally of turkey or goose with many trimmings
- Presents are exchanged usually on 25th
- December 26th is Boxing Day in Britain; this comes from the Victorian practice of giving presents (in boxes) on that day instead of the more religious aspect of the 25th. Boxing Day is also the day for going for walks with family, or going to see the Hunt set forth in all its tradition, finery and noise (though this is not so popular due to the understandable decline of support for fox-hunting)
- There are various differences in the choice of date or calendars used (e.g. Gregorian - 25th December; Julian - 7th January)
- The choice of 25th December was influenced by several factors; it was the date of the Romans’ winter solstice, the shortest and so darkest day of the year; it is nine months after the Annunciation when the conception of Jesus is celebrated; the Romans celebrated a series of pagan festivals towards the end of the year, so it’s possible that Christmas was scheduled to coincide or compete with one or more of those,
- or it could have been the other way round, the Roman pagans placing a celebration on that date to compete with the already established Christian one
- Apart from Advent Calendars, the sending of cards and the giving of presents, Christmas is also represented by the singing of Carols (caroling), lighting candles (Christingle), decorating Christmas trees & rooms, placing wreaths on front doors, Nativity plays, special church services, a special meal, lights on houses (this has become competitive from one street to the next!), mistletoe (for kissing under) & holly
- Special Christmas Pudding and Christmas Cake is made for Christmas Day, a mixture of fruit, alcohol etc thus being quite a dense but moist mixture; the cake having marzipan and thick icing atop, decorated with relevant figures; the pudding having a sixpence hidden inside for someone to find (usually a child of the family)
- Christmas Eve often denotes the leaving of food and drink out for Santa and the reindeer, such as a mince pie, a carrot and a glass of wine or something stronger!
- Santa is short for Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick and Christkind. They fly in a sleigh drawn by reindeer and bring gifts to children, left under the tree or at the end of the bed, on Christmas Eve. Rudolf the Reindeer guides the sleigh as he’s the one with the red nose!
with help from:
What does Christmas Mean to You?
What is most important?
© 2014 Ann Carr