Embracing Humanity

WHENEVER Christmas time comes, newspapers are abound with preachy editorials lamenting that the true meaning of Christmas seems to have been forgotten. Capitalists are usually vilified for poisoning our minds with the gospel of commercialism. Even Santa Claus gets his share of flak.

But what is the true meaning of Christmas? And who dictates what it should be?

To a child, Christmas means having new toys; to a student, it means a long respite from the pressures of school; to an employee, bonuses; to the child of an OFW, missing a loved one; to a lover in despair, cold nights made even colder by the low temperature in December; and, to a security guard on duty, just another day at work. The list goes ad infinitum.

While Christmas is mainly a Christian event, it is an occasion that transcends the bounds of religion. It is humanity at large that we celebrate, the same humanity that Christ embraced in the lowly manger in Bethlehem and, later on, in the cross at Golgotha. How is it to be human? How is it to be not only in December, but at any given time? Only when Christmas has permeated our daily lives, be it in March, June, or September, have we experienced it at all.

Only when we have befriended love, joy, compassion, and also sorrow, anxiety, and suffering—and other emotions that characterize our existence have we unwrapped the present of all presents.

And only when we have gotten to terms with the reality that no two persons are exactly alike can we achieve the oft-spoken-but-perennially-elusive world peace.

To many, Christmas is about giving and receiving. But happier are those who appreciate what is already there, and which cannot be taken away—the chance to be human. To celebrate Christmas as an occasion is to be occasionally human.

Author: Herdy La. Yumul

A hesitant academic pimp, writer

6 thoughts on “Embracing Humanity”

  1. What Christmas means to me is giving gifts on December 25. I believe that this is of human intentions. It is not because i also want others to give me something in exchange, my intention is for them to be happy with the little stuff that i gave them. I agree that humanity is the true meaning of Christmas and being human is to be able to understand what the meaning of life is. It is of acceptance of what we truly are and striving of what we want to be for the sake of others. Humanity is neither heaven nor hell, for as long as we’re alive here on Earth, we can make a change. As long as there’s Christmas, a new year will always follow.

    About the article, it’s nice but not long enough to be able to further explain some ideas. I cannot understand some parts but the last paragraph helped to wrap it all.

  2. I don’t understand why people give so much meaning to Christmas. In all legal holidays of the year Christmas must be the most important of all. Is it because you might receive gift or something or it is because we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ which is only a theoretical date. I think that we give importance to this event because people look forward to the benefits of Christmas and it is to receive something. “Most” people value more the give-receive thing on Christmas. What we forget is that we should also celebrate the theoretical birth of Christ.

    Humanity which is destined to suffer but soon promised salvation. I agree that it is the true meaning why we celebrate it. We are not celebrating a birth nor santa but we are celebrating us, ourselves. We are celebrating the day that we took for as real human. We should always be thakful that even if we suffer these days we are assured to be salvaged someday.

  3. Yes,how true it is.That’s the real essence of Christmas.It tooks about humanity.This once a year celebration always leaves wonderful memories to everyone.I wish the spirit of Christmas will always remain in our hearts,not only by December but at any time.

  4. actually filipinos usually use the word “salvage” as to kill someone but literally salvage means “to be saved”

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