For Christians, Christmas is a time to symbolically relive the birth of Jesus. But what does this holiday mean for those who are not religious or have different religious beliefs? It can simply be a celebration of life. The story of this child born in a humble stable and then welcomed by friends and family can be adapted for everyone. We can gather our own families and enjoy spending time with each other. This is also a great time to welcome unexpected guests who may have no other place to go.
The Christian meaning of Christmas
Christmas first appeared in the Christian calendar during the fourth century in Rome. December 25 was chosen for its proximity to the winter solstice, which was celebrated for a long time in pagan rites.
The Christmas holiday quickly took the importance it has today because of its magical character. The first nativity scene appeared in the Middle Ages, predominantly in churches. Eventually the tradition continued to individual homes.
The birth of Jesus
According to the Gospel of Luke, when Mary was close to giving birth to Jesus, a mandatory census was decreed by the Roman Emperor Augustus. In order to be properly identified, everyone had to return to their hometown. And so Joseph traveled to Bethlehem (where was from), along with Mary. However, when they arrived in Bethlehem, no hotel would take them in, claiming they were all full. It was finally in a stable that the couple found refuge, where Mary gave birth to Jesus, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in the manger.
Relive the story at home
You can keep the nativity tradition alive in your own home. You can make a stable out of wood, cardboard, and brown paper and decorate it with items found in nature (pine cones, tree bark, moss to simulate the ground ...). Then add the figurines, which can be bought at the store, crafted out of dolls and toys, or made from papier-mâché. You can set up your nativity scene as early as the first Sunday of Advent (November 27th this year). To be accurate, start by putting Joseph and Mary in the stable with the ox and the donkey. Baby Jesus will join them on the night of December 24 to 25. Then the Wise Men will emerge, gradually advancing to the barn. On January 6, Epiphany, the Magi will finally come to the baby Jesus. Other characters can also be included in your crib, such as shepherds.
Celebrate the spiritual side of Christmas by sending one of our religious Christmas ecards! And have a blessed Christmas season!
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Prayers for a blessed Christmas