by April Joy Brady (Mark’s wife)
This is my first Christmas in America. My previous ones have been in my home country of the Philippines. People’s attitudes here toward Christmas are a lot different than there. It seems as if some of the people are forgetting the real reason for Christmas. Some even go as far as to remove “Christ” from the word Christmas with “X-mas”. It makes me wonder if they have removed Christ from their hearts as well. I’m not trying to be judging, it would be difficult not to be that way growing up here in America, with constantly being bombarded with TV ads and popular culture.
This season here seems to be more about parties, gifts, and where to spend the holiday. When in the Philippines, where resources don’t flow so freely, Christmas tends to be much simpler, and we are happy to get to see family and share a simple meal, and laugh. There is a lot of laughter back home. I imagine Jesus’s first Christmas was simple as well. Mary and Joseph adoring their new born son, lying still in a feeding trough with some hay, and perhaps an animal’s covering over him. A far cry from a beautiful wooden crib from Ashley Furniture with blankets from Macys!
I think I have been blessed to have my previous life and Christmas’ in the Philippines. I hope in the years to come I do not stray too far from my roots, especially when it comes to the attitude of what Christmas really is, or supposed to be about.
I will enjoy the time spent with my husband and the gifts he has bought for me as well as the other gifts from friends and coworkers, but in my heart I will be in Bethlehem, humming, “Away in the Manger”.
Merry Christmas everyone. May Christ fill your hearts with his love.
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