So now that we have stopped, we breathe a sigh of relief. All the shopping and tidying and wrapping done now!
At the Gaelscoil during the week I had a word game with the children to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas. The children were very good to come up with words that began with the letters of the word ‘CHRISTMAS’ – words associated only with Christmas.
C is for Crib, Christ and for celebration
H is for Hamper, Ham and Holly
R is for reindeer and religion
I is for Ivy but in the Gaelscoil they said ĺosa in fairness!
S is for Santa
T is for Turkey
M for Mary Manger and Mass
A was for After Shave!
S for Shepherds and star and Son of God
But there are other questions we can ask about the word such as ‘how many letters in the word Christmas?’ The answer of course is 9.
And what is the middle letter? S is the middle letter of Christmas
What letter is repeated? There are 2 S letters in Christmas
The S is important!
S is for Saviour but we tend to put him instead of the centre of Christmas we put the words of Santa and shopping there and put the Saviour and Son last!
But just as the Saviour is at the centre of the crib, and the S reminder of the star at the centre above it so we need to put Christ back at the centre of our celebrations and our lives. He is the real centre - Everybody is looking at the baby in the crib, He is not out to one side or in the corner, but that is where we out Him, not just at Christmas but every day of the year!
As the years go by the S of Santa is replaced by the S of Style and Shopping and in the season we have we quickly allow the S of Sales to take over after St Stephen’s Day! Or as someone said to it is the ‘spending’ that is prominent!
But the S we all struggle with however over the passing of years is that of self – selfishness or self-centredness. We wonder where the 'magic' of Christmas is gone. Perhaps it is because the S of the 'Saviour' is no longer centre-stage.
We must put back Christ at the centre of our lives, at the heart of things!
Someone once said, ‘where our hearts are there our bodies follow’. As I reflect now and over the 12 days of Christmas, and ponder over Christmas past, and where the spirit of Christmas may have gone, let us ask ourselves - what have we set our hearts on - what have you or I set my heart on – things, self, others, or God? Let us once more go to the crib – yes even between shops! – and, in a child-like manner, tell Jesus, simply that we love Him, because that is what He most wants to hear.