The meaning of Christmas and a very personal story is the subject of this Big B file.
Tomorrow is Christmas . . . December 25, 2009. This is a day that Christians… including myself… celebrate the birth of Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in a manger in Bethlehem. Now many of us celebrate the national holiday by waking up, opening presents, so go to church (Mass), go to family dinners and/or to Christmas parties, watch movies like It’s A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street … among others.
To put it in modern terms . . . Jesus was born in a little manger in Bethlehem, which is which is a biblical times version of the horse stall. Now the Big B Files is not saying that people are giving birth in the horse stall or saying anything negative about horses or horse stalls, but I wanted to give you an idea of God will place that Jesus was born in over 2000 years ago today. I don’t know about you, but the analogy that I just told you is one of best examples of humble beginnings… if not of humility in general. Believe it or not…Jesus’ birth in the manger is why we celebrate Christmas as both a national holiday and a holy day. But let me give you a personal story that is another example of the true meaning of Christmas.
It was Christmas day last year, 2008, and due to our work schedules and church obligations, and my sister Melissa and I were not able to celebrate Christmas with our parents, brothers, and sisters like we were able to in years past. after a few calls between the two of us, it was decided that I would go down to my sister’s apartment and we would have Christmas dinner there. Unfortunately we didn’t get the usual Christmas fixings… turkey, dressing, gravy, etc… because we figured we’d get the stuff for Christmas day, and by the time we will get to get the stuff all the stores were closed and the only thing that was open was Walgreens and they don’t normally carry the turkeys that you cook in the oven and carve for Christmas dinner.
We even called restaurants and checked into going out to eat on Christmas, but with little resources and virtually no options that option was out of the question. Besides, all the restaurants that we that we could afford to go to were closed so employees could celebrate Christmas with their families. So . . . after a while of digging around the cupboards for food, and I did find some dressing to make ourselves, a couple cans of cranberry sauce, spaghetti sauce and egg noodles… and that was our Christmas dinner. Melissa apologized to me for not having a traditional Christmas dinner, but I felt that she shouldn’t need to apologize at all.
The reason why she did not have to apologize is because what we went through to make that Christmas dinner happen made me think of all those people who on Christmas day have to go without because they don’t have any food on the table . . .none at all. Whether it was because they have to decide whether to eat or keep the roof over their heads in a warm home or whom are homeless or for some other reason, they just can’t afford a traditional Christmas dinner.
I think back to past years to how we would complain about the food, the Christmas tree, not getting presents (or about the present if we got one), or some other issue… the Big B Files cannot believe that there is a Christmas party or Christmas dinner with family anywhere to where this has not occurred. What about in your family?
What we went through last Christmas day… my sister and I… made me realize how Paley and in significant the complaints about the food prizes etc. really is and how blessed and privileged we really are to have the food, presents, being with family and more when there are people in this world and in this country who will not have the privilege of any of that on the very day that we celebrate the birthday of a king.
Maybe when we go to church, and the attendant at family celebrations, we should humble ourselves just like Jesus did in that lonely manger on Christmas night by simply being blessed and be grateful for what we have and by keeping in mind those people among us who literally have to struggle to get what little they have and/or just to make it another in our communities, in this nation, and in this world.
From the Big B Files… may you and yours have a happy and blessed Christmas and happy birthday Jesus. And that’s the Big B Files. Click on the “Comments” link below and tell me what you think… I’m Bryan Hewing.