Ryan Roberts, Head Boy
Christmas to me…
Why is the 25th of December considered to be the most important day of the year? It seems obvious, yet it is a question few of us actually answer.
For Christians of most denominations, Christmas Day is certainly the most important day of the year. It is a celebration of Jesus's arrival into the world – God coming in flesh – yet there is a little substantive evidence to even suggest such Jesus was born on 25 December. In fact, the first ever recorded celebration of Jesus's birthday on this day was in 336AD during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine, several centuries after Jesus's birth. Furthermore, there is not a single mention of 25th December in the Bible. And so, for the first three centuries of the churches existence, Christmas was never celebrated in December nor on the calendar at all – it didn't exist. Some of the original church leaders actually oppose the notion of celebrating a birth, even of the son of God, rejecting birthday celebrations as ‘Pagan’ practices.
Some Christians of traditions such as Armenian Churches view 6th January is the most sacred and significant day. Again, there is no mention of 6th January in the Bible; this date was instituted by Saint Agustine in the UK. Epiphany, the Christian festival which takes place on this day, celebrates the arrival of the wise man (magi) who visit Jesus soon after his birth.
In terms of how Christmas is conducted, many of our customers such as gift-giving, being charitable, Yule logs and various foods, coupled with the origins of the Christmas Day to self, are purportedly based on paganism. Some people actually claim that Christian beliefs are tantamount to paganism anyway as they perceive beliefs such as the Trinity to be incompatible with claiming to follow a monotheistic religion; it is fascinating how we see the 25th at such a special day without there being much foundation for this as the date of Jesus's birth, or even without knowing whether celebrating Jesus's birth is the right thing to do – this certainly was in the opinion of many early Christian leaders.
On me, however, the most important aspect of Christmas is spending plenty of time relaxing with the family and enjoying one another's company. Christmas provides a wonderful opportunity for some respite and joyful celebrations with those who are most important to us. I Joe watching films on TV, in addition to celebrating my dogs birthday on Christmas Eve and, of course indulging in sumptuous feasts such as Christmas dinner or even the annual buffet at my grandma's house in the evening with my closest and extended family alike.
For many people, Christmas is undoubtedly the best occasion of the year because of the festivities and customs: the exchanges of presents, the singing, the eating, the dancing (possibly), or even just having a laugh. Although countries such as Britain are becoming increasingly secular, thankfully the emphasis on celebrating Christmas has not been relaxed in the slightest.
I love Christmas because the occasion unites families to enjoy festivities together and simply have fun. Christmas provides a reminder of the significance of the simple pleasures in our lives, and so this makes Christmas a special day of the year, and invariably the most memorable. Families often cherish memories of nativity plays and carol singing, and all the quirky traditions associated with Christmas-time - it is wonderful… and that's Christmas to me.