It's Still Christmas

By Christina Kim - January 04, 2020

The last of the Christmas decorations are packed and put away for the next year.
The season of the year which is my personal favourite, one which takes a whole long year before its pronounced arrival has now come to a pass as we enter the brand new year, signifying the end of the octave celebration of our Saviour's birth.
Or is it?

Call me crazy or childish, but Christmas is not quite over yet, at least not for me.
I am still watching Christmas movies, and stealing those occasional moments from the new year/decade where I conveniently forget that the 25th of December is left behind to listen to Christmas carols playing on my playlist before I stop myself and pull myself back to the reality, and sanity, to say the least.

It sounds insane, and probably far-fetched for someone to be so immersed in the Christmas spirit to be lost in reality but the truth is, it is not and it is not just because I am carried away by the festive spirit itself. I will not deny my profound love for this festive season, which I have more than once declared as my favourite and also one that I looked forward to each and every year, the way I do my own birthday (and of course, the Lord's birthday precedes mine in importance) but the joy and excitement goes beyond the festivities and glamour of the much publicised season where department stores and homes are decked with boughs of hollies along with joy and laughter everywhere. In fact, despite my deep love for this festival, there were years when I lost track of time, swamped by the facades of life to even enjoy the season which I just let slip past, for instance the last two years where I was pursuing my studies and got caught up in the madness of papers writing and research. I remembered how tired I was that all that was on my mind was to complete my assignments so that I could rest and it surprised even myself that I let myself actually miss Christmas, for the first time in my life but I was just really wrapped up in my research at that time and that has always been the way whenever it came to academics for me, even when I was a schoolgirl, although I still never missed the occasion since Christmas is always during my school holidays. This year, however, I seemed to be making up for it by prolonging the festivity and not willing to let go even after the end of the octave. However, that is not really the reason and in fact, I did not even link them together before writing this post.

The real reason for me to be still so hyped up is simple: Christmas never ends, not just for me, but for everyone.
Maybe not everyone, but every one who believes.
The world knows Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ (which, by the way, is not the actual date of his birth either) and that it is a religious festival observed by Christians. The cheer and gaiety of the celebrations have however, extended to almost everyone around the world, especially those who just loves a reason to celebrate (and party) and there is no reason not to since Christmas also falls in that favourite time of the year when school lets out and pretty much everything starts to come to a closure as the year draws its curtains to a close. Christian or not, almost everyone is celebrating Christmas around the world, whether they understand it or not and it does not matter, because it is all about the fun and getting together with friends and loved ones for some good quality time after a long year. However, little did anyone know that that is also part of the magic of Christmas, to be with loved ones and to just be filled with love.

Christmas is not just about the ornaments and which tree topper that goes atop the Christmas tree, nor is it about the gingerbread cookies, mistletoes and stockings that hang on the mantelpieces and certainly not all about the gifts we wrap so delicately and place under the tree, waiting to surprise our loved ones. Christmas is way beyond that and not just for religious reasons, though it is rooted in it especially for the believers. I am sure everyone knows that Christians believe in Christmas as a miracles but what exactly are the miracles and the magic of the season that keep Christians in the spirit?
Don't worry, I am not about to preach about the religious reasons though I will lay out briefly to give an idea of the celebration, at least in my personal view.

The miracles of Christmas lie beyond the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God, whom he kindly bestow upon us to save us unworthy beings, making the first miracle, one that is the biggest of them all, LOVE. 
The next one, Jesus was born to our Virgin Mother Mary, who was as her title implies, a virgin when the Angel Gabriel went to her one night and told her that she had been tasked to carry a child, the Son of God in her untouched womb. Now, rewind back to that time in history when pregnancies and births out of wedlock are heavily condemned, women especially would be able to understand the burdens of such an assignment and the complications that could befall one's own dignity and reputation. It is almost a suicide mission for a maiden to conceive without even so much as being with a man and this impossible mission was accepted by our Mother Mary, who was at that time, a young girl who must have been extremely scared. It is indeed a miracle that she obeyed and accepted without even bombarding the angel with questions nor put up any resistance in defiance. She chose to accept because she chose to trust that God knows what is best for her despite that strong fear in her tiny heart and this is the miracle of BELIEVING.
Believing when you cannot see and is in the unknown is a truly a remarkable one indeed and it is this same belief that Joseph, a carpenter, who was also tasked with the same responsibility of being Jesus's father on earth. Joseph accepted his task as well, to be the husband of a woman he did not know and be responsible for a child he did not bear the seed of and it was just pure obedience that he took it upon himself. Joseph displayed not just the miracle of believing, but that of FAITH.
Baby Jesus's birth is a miracle itself, for it was in secret and on the run as King Herod had ordered for the death of all newborns especially boys in fear of the fulfilment of the prophecy that a King will be born who will be a major threat to his crown. There was no place to hide, nor a manger was in sight and Mother Mary was due for labour at the same time. It was not a time of advanced technology like the present, with clinical tools and sterilised equipment along with the best procedures and even epidurals to assist with a woman's labour. Far from it, Mother Mary had to deliver in a haystack, surrounded by well, hay, and even had to be in silence to avoid being discovered by the men sent by the King. Yes, our great Lord was born in such dire conditions but he made it out to the world, and it was indeed a miracle and living proof that he was the Son of God. The night skies lit up and the world rejoiced at the birth of the Saviour though the infant boy is just like any other baby, seeing the world for the first time with innocence, oblivious that he is about to perform miracles and revered in the eyes of generations to come. It is indeed the birth of all miracles to come, and that is a miracle in itself. This is a summary of the mysteries and magical miracles that had Christians celebrating Christmas for centuries and spread that joy and cheer to even to the non-believers.
Yet, believe me when I say, that is not all, and Christmas is always there, even after the month of December and the 25th.

Sure, Christmas has its origins in religion but far beyond, it is a season of giving. It is a season of love and joy, but most of all, it is a time of gratitude and generosity.
It is the end of the year and everyone is in the mood for celebration, thankful for the year it has been and that it is coming to an end, making the way for a brand new start. Everyone looks forward to parties and enjoying themselves as a way of rewarding their hard work over the year. Companies give out bonuses to thank employees for their hard work. Families and friends gather over meals and holiday plans and that pocketful of rewards makes one feels generous and kindly towards others and they carve out their own lists of rewards for the ones around them, especially their loved ones. There is just that air of thankfulness, appreciation, kindness and generosity among everyone and everywhere we go.
It is not so much about the gifts that are being given out, be it its type, price and worth, but rather, the thought that goes into the making of the gift that carries the most weight of all. It is the thought that comes to one's mind when buying a gift, for that person they want to give it to and the willingness to spend the time and effort. It is the thought that makes the gift special, even if it may not be exactly something the recipient really wants but it is the thought of the recipient on the mind of the giver in the first place that makes it the more special. Be thankful that someone thought of you as important enough to be on their gift list. Be thankful that someone did spare a thought to figure out what to get for you rather than complain about the gift as not meeting your expectations. BE THANKFUL for being one someone's mind because it makes you important and special to that someone. That itself is the real GIFT before the physical object dressed in fancy ribbons and wrapping paper.

Then there are those who plan out and host parties, going all their way out to decorate their homes or even find a venue for celebrating with their friends, co-workers and loved ones. It is one that is of kindness and generosity when they could have just sat in the background and wait for someone else to do the work. They make that time that others couldn't, they crafted out the plans, made the reservations and decorated the place, preparing food and festivity cheer to welcome others into the celebration. They are the ones who truly decked the halls, shining brighter than the glimmering ornaments dangling above our heads. They are not just generous in efforts, but they are generous in spirit for it takes a lot of work putting together plans and getting everyone together and they made it happen. Maybe there are some who are forced to do it, with the task being shoved in their places but being able to pull it through and getting it done still requires a level of dedication. Being present for the celebrations, making it home to be with loved ones and being surrounded by the ones we love make up the true spirit of Christmas. It requires putting aside time, pushing aside plans, and setting priorities to make it happen. It is all again, about the effort and the thought that make it all possible and it is not a small thing but one that requires one's willingness to look beyond everything and just believe in love to choose what matters most: their loved ones.

Christmas is not just about the glamorous parties and glorious food spread on the tables but it lies in the spirit which is deep in each and every one's heart. You can be a Christian who believes but lack the spirit, or you may not be a Christian who does not know Jesus but just loves the season, it does not matter. It is the spirit that lives. Christmas is all about that spirit of thinking of others, being kind to others, being present in person and in spirit, and knowing what and who is important and that is what makes Christmas alive. Christmas is about the heartfelt gifts, visible and invisible, tangible and intangible, and most of all, it is about the people around us, the ones we love and love us who truly make Christmas special.

Therefore, how could Christmas ever be over? It is always there, because the spirit of Christmas never dies and it should never ever, but rather burns continuously like a never-ending flame in our hearts.

It's still Christmas, and it will still be every day.
Keep the spirit of Christmas and continue to spread that cheer and kindness to bring more joy to the world.

*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.

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