Christmas: A Traditional Family Holiday

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 Christmas Day is celebrated by Christians, throughout the world, as the birthday of Jesus Christ. The word Christmas is derived from Middle English, “Christmas” and Old English, “Cristes maesse,” both of which means “Christ’s Mass.”

There are church services at midnight on Christmas Eve which usually dramatize the birth of Christ. Since there is a religious significance to the day, you will find many people attending early morning services on Christmas Day. Christmas morning services are usually a sermon to reinforce the purpose of Christ’s birth and his gift to mankind. Following church services, families may gather at one home or make rounds delivering gifts to other family members and friends.

Many people will take some time on Christmas Day to perform community service, such as handing out food to the homeless at a shelter or visiting the residents of a senior residential home. Others volunteer at a local hospital distributing toys to young patients.

Other Christmas traditions include the exchange of Christmas cards, singing of carols. Neighborhood choral groups go from door to door in their neighborhoods and are invited in by neighbors for a warm or soothing drink.

The greeting for the day is “Merry Christmas.” We wish everyone a happy day. Other traditions include phone calls to loved ones and friends who are in other parts of the country or the world.

With more mothers working who have children under the age of six, family mealtimes are generally a rush and sometimes a stand-up and eat fast food. The two holidays of the year that change this situation are Thanksgiving and Christmas. After making their rounds on Christmas Day, the highlight of the day is the family sitting around the dinner table sharing a meal and enjoying each other’s company.

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Each family has its own tradition for opening gifts. Some gifts may be opened early on Christmas morning especially by young children who wonder what Santa has left them while others are left until after dinner. Dinner is usually early and everyone gathers around the tree to open their remaining gifts.

After the gifts have been opened, the adults may sit around and carry on a light conversation while the children enjoy their gifts or the family may play games or watch a movie. There are a number of classic movies that are shown on television each year or can be rented from your local video store.

Christmas Day is a time for families to share with each other and with those who are less fortunate. After Christmas, you need a tree bag to store your tree and laser light projectors so you could save.