Sunday, 27 December 2015 04:22

Christmas Celebrations - Be Merry!

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Xmas decor is a role Xmas decor is a role

Merry Christmas to everyone. It is Christmas time. A time of the year when Christians around the world celebrate the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ who was born as a saviour to redeem all sinners and the needy in the world. Christmas should also mean, do not eat or feast alone, call on others, including the needy to celebrate God.

Since the ancient theological history of Christmas, Christmas has remained a big celebration among Christians all over the world to rejoice with the birthday of Jesus Christ. Christmas for all Christians and their friends is indeed a moment to honour and celebrate the Holy Jesus and the Holy Family that eventually changed the society of Christian lives. We celebrate mass called Christmas to praise the birth and mission of Jesus Christ on earth. He was born during Christmas time for a unique purpose - namely to redeem the world and show the way to inherit heaven, the kingdom of God.

There will never be a time to come when Christmas will no longer be celebrated. It will be forever as Christians live and pray. Christians hope and live in God.

I just want to say that during Christ time as it is now, we do so many things to celebrate the moment. It is the biggest celebration the world has come to know and it is significant in many ways for Christians and none Christians alike. It is marked with some public Holidays called Christmas Holidays, the 25th of December of each year followed by December 26 called Boxing Day. These two days are declared free work days though some organizations or companies or governments can grant December 24 as a free workday in addition.

The significance of Christmas is embodied in a season of prayers, praise and adoration worships. Holy Night songs are heard from heaven and earth. The visit of the three wise-men from the east to Bethlehem in Jerusalem to welcome the birth of the royal king Jesus is marked. Gifts of myrrh, frankincense and gold were marked. The song saying that alleluia is sounding in heaven is highlighted.

In our world of Christmas tradition and modernism, good food preparations, eating and services are carried out. Travels are made to reunite with families and friends are invited and served elaborately too. Killing of animals for the feast of Christmas is like organizing hunting and gathering session to participate in the commensal moment of Christmas. Christmas does not listen to there is nothing to eat or drink. There must be enough for everyone - poor or rich. Every family is open to welcome neighbours; and visitors and returnees from cities to the villages are also to embrace and share friendship, kindness and love. Showing appreciation and wishing everyone well are commonly experienced by Christmas goers and festers.

It is therefore important to state that when Christmas is called for, the feeling and gaiety of Father Christmas and "Ave Maria" is always at the door to open hands of kindness to greet, hug, pray, bless and offer gifts of celebration. Christmas is adored, though sometimes expensive, for the spirit of giving, asking, receiving, sharing and rejoicing for the love of being humans, friends, family members, community unions, organizations, Christians and Godly people.

No one doubts the elevated importance of Christmas in our day - home, workplace, school, malls, churches, and social media outlets where we gather, chat, debate and pray. Malls, markets and business centres have taken the centre stage of buying the essentials and promoting Christmas items. We must say that Christmas like many observers have noted has increasingly become commandeered and controlled by commercial activities and operators. Why not? When Christmas is good at the church, it must also be good for the food, drinks, clothing and decorative centres that make buildings and homes stand in the mood of Christmas. Street and public square decorations, including homes with special Christmas Trees, lights and images of the birth and adoration of the Messiah cannot be ignored. They add to the beauty of Christmas season.

Let me join all of you and say Merry Christmas. May the blessings and hopes that flow from Christmas celebrations touch you and your families and friends. Christmas marks the joy to the world, for Christ is born. Be merry! Let us be merry together.

Much more, today, we cannot leave out pointing out that in the diaspora, Nigerians, particularly the Igbo, like other groups organize themselves to celebrate Christmas with Christian fun fare, flare of giving, recognizing distinctions and achievements and awarding certificates and plaques of honour to hold for themselves that which is good in the community. Christmas for them celebrates all that is spiritually upholding the faith, good works, and contributions to elevate and sustain the culture of living for the other as Jesus Christ lived out for the Christian faithful to share.

Around the communities of Nigerians in the Diaspora, Christmas is a big deal much as it is at home to celebrate together. By Christmas celebration, the See of Christians express the feelings of holiness and birthday of the saviour, Jesus Christ. They engage in general and specific manners and activities of prayers, offer gifts, share food and drinks, exchange wishes and pleasantries that go with the spirit and obligations of Christian life at Christmas.

Christmas is a virtuous period of celebration adored with blessings of a kind. It, moreover, orchestrates an annual moment of thanksgiving to ask, knock, receive and be given in prayers, gifts and plural wishes. We must live for many more Christmas celebrations. God is good!

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Patrick Iroegbu Ph.D

Patrick Iroegbu is a Social and Cultural (Medical) Anthropologist and lectures Anthropology in Canada. He is the author of Marrying Wealth, Marrying Poverty: Gender and Bridewealth Power in a Changing African Society: The Igbo of Nigeria (2007). He equally co-ordinates the Kpim Book Series Project of Father-Prof. Pantaleon Foundation based at Owerri, Nigeria. Research interests include gender and development, migration, race and ethnic relation issues, as well as Igbo Medicine, Social Mental Health and Cultural Studies.