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Putting the “Christ” back into Christmas

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Tis’ the season to be jolly, and the world we live in has a lot of ideas about how we should make Christmas a jolly experience. Society pressures us into buying the nicest gifts and the fanciest decorations in an attempt to outdo our neighbors. With all of this hubbub, it can be hard to remember that Christmas started as a holiday intended to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. However, by examining how we observe this joyous season, we can start to find an inner calm in this busy time, experiencing true joy.

Everyone who chooses to celebrate Christmas in a spiritual manner does it differently, and the Hoban religion teachers are no exception. Many of them had fond memories from their childhood and good advice on keeping Christ at the true center of the season.

Because Christmas is such a hectic American culture, it seems only natural that one way to observe the true meaning of Christmas would be quiet and serene prayer, especially with a church community of believers.

What is Christmas?  It’s the incarnation of the Word.  What is that?  It’s an unexpected free gift into our hearts!”

— Mr. Rossi

“We always attend midnight Mass together. After communion, I remember dimming the lights in the church and just having the lit candles and the white lights of the Christmas trees. We all focus on the Manger Scene at the front of the church and we sing Silent Night,” Mr. Fahey said. “We take time to remember the gift of Jesus in our lives at His birth.”

Gratitude, another way to celebrate the birth of Christ, must remain at the heart of family time. Building relationships with family is not only for religious people, but is an essential building block for a healthy foundation in life.

“On Christmas Eve, my family would celebrate with my Mom’s side of the family. Christmas Day would be for my Dad‘s side of the family,” Mr. Patrick said, conjuring up the ghost of Christmas past. “Christmas night also entail taking a trip to Pittsburgh, PA where a lot of my Dad’s family is from.”       

Perhaps the hardest but most important way we can serve Christ this season is through service. We hear it said a lot, perhaps clichè, that Christmas is about giving, not receiving. Still, it remains true that we most profoundly experience Christ when we strive to imitate him in Charity and good works. Everytime we give to Charity or help someone in need, we experience true joy.

“We try and help out a lot in the community and to hot meals and giving tree at St Bernard,” Deacon Ray said.

While Christmas is meant to be mainly about Christ, it does not mean we cannot enjoy some of the worldliness. There is nothing wrong with feeling excited when presents arrive, shopping ensues, Christmas lights illuminate. Like the rest of life, it is all about balance.

Mr. Kappel recalls enjoying the excitement of seeing Santa and drinking hot cocoa with his two children: “My two kids my wife and I go to Walsh University in the old Hoover House, they do a tour and see Santa and then go get cookies and cocoa and then go on a horse drawn carriage ride and sing christmas carols,” he said.

No matter what you do this Season, keeping Christ’s birth in the heart will make you truly jolly. Whether it’s attending Mass, looking at Christmas lights with family, or even studying for exams, Christ’s joy is for everyone and he invites us to experience it at Christmas.   

Finally, Mr. Rossi, puts a bow on this philosophy.  

“What is Christmas?  It’s the incarnation of the Word.  What is that?  It’s an unexpected free gift into our hearts!  How do we receive such a gift?  We must must must prepare our hearts through the season of advent – go to Mass, pray the rosary, give up some small thing, give alms, visit the blessed sacrament, have some quiet time before going to bed….only this way will there be room in our inn…without him what hope do we have,” he said.

On behalf of the Hoban Visor, we wish you all a very happy and holy Christmas. May God Bless you and your families and help you to see through the chaos of the Christmas season into the real reason for it all –  the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

1 Comment

One Response to “Putting the “Christ” back into Christmas”

  1. Christina Worcester on December 13th, 2017 4:22 pm

    “Mr. Patrick said, conjuring up the ghost of Christmas past.” Or maybe he’s the ghost…

    [Reply]

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