The origins of Christmas stem from both the pagan and Roman cultures. The Romans actually celebrated two holidays in the month of December. The first was Saturnalia, which was a two-week festival honoring their god of agriculture Saturn. On December 25th, they celebrated the birth of Mithra, their sun god.
The name ‘Christmas’ comes from the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). It is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God and a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion.
It is a Mass service which is sometimes called Communion or Eucharist where Christians remember that Jesus died and then came back to life. The ‘Christ-Mass’ service was the only one that was allowed to take place after sunset and before sunrise the next day, so people had it at Midnight hence the name Christ-Mass, shortened to Christmas.
Christmas is now celebrated worldwide by both Christians and non-Christians. Christmas traditions include a variety of customs, religious practices, rituals, and folklore associated with the celebration of Christmas. Many of these traditions vary by country or region.
Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, having parties, attending church, and sharing meals with family and friends. It’s a time when family and friends come together and remember the good things they have.
Everyone gets involved in Christmas in some way, whether by attending the annual office party, exchanging gifts with friends, or going all out and hosting a very special family meal.
Here are six exciting ways how to celebrate Christmas with your relatives and friends;
1. Perform a small act of kindness
It can be anything you feel like in the moment without expecting anything in return, like buying a meal for a homeless person or visiting a home for orphans or even visiting the sick in a hospital. An unplanned act of kindness can create a powerful and long-lasting level of happiness.
2. Cultivate Joyful Experiences.
There are so many ways to bring extra joy to your holiday. Enjoying holiday events at Christmastime can help to cultivate joy in your heart. Sing, laugh, enjoy your favorite meal or treat, play games, or take a road trip. Being together and making time for play is a wonderful way to remind yourselves of how grateful you are for all you have.
3. Exchange Gifts.
Another way to celebrate Christmas is to present gifts to your friends, family, and relatives. Giving gifts to your loved ones can help create a sense of warmth, love, and gratitude. Giving gifts doesn’t necessarily mean you should focus on gratitude based on what you receive.
To celebrate the festivity, you can add more sweetness to every relation with sweet eateries such as chocolate hampers to your friends, family, and kids on Christmas Eve which can put a smile on their faces.
However, sometimes, the best gifts aren’t things, but simple joyful experiences, heartfelt feelings, and genuine emotions. Because joy can be found in life’s smallest, everyday moments.
4. Around the table talk
Focusing on gratitude sometimes means simply talking about what you’re grateful for. You can share gratitude around the family table at Christmas dinner, for instance before beginning to eat, you can encourage everyone to take a moment to express their gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal and be surrounded by loved ones.
You can share your favorite festive memories and define what makes the gathering so special. Bringing those memories and feelings to the surface will help you intentionally focus on the things you’re grateful for this Christmas.
5. Mindful Games
The concept is to simply encourage family members, friends, and even strangers to engage with each other in more authentic ways. The conversation depends on the level of intimacy you’re willing to get to, ask each other insightful and, to some point, life-changing questions, and start valuable discussions about what truly matters.
This means talking to your friends, relatives, or even new acquaintances about their lives, their dreams for the future, or even what they’ve been struggling with and less about topics such as the weather, politics, and other general topics.
Questions can range from your favorite childhood memory to your biggest insecurity, or the least known fact about yourself and the only requirement is trust and openness. Provided you’re ready to open up, you’ll finish the game having established a strong, nurturing bond.
It’s a very different kind of socializing that results in deeper, genuine connections and more rewarding experiences.
6. Embrace Childlike Wonder.
We all reminisce about our childhood when Christmas was lively and we felt grateful for the season. But as adults and all the responsibilities on our shoulders, we’re concerned about creating a fun holiday for the kids such as buying gifts and circumnavigating the hectic event schedules that sometimes we might find ourselves feeling more negative than we’d like to.
Christmas holiday is an exciting and welcome break from daily routines and responsibilities but we sometimes tend to lose sight of the deeper meaning of this important day.
The break from work offers us an opportunity to get together with family members, friends, and other loved ones from our circles.
If you find yourself not genuinely enjoying the gatherings you’re attending, take a closer look at the people you spend your time with and try to understand whether you can improve your experience by making more effort to connect with your family and friends or, alternatively, if there are some people that you shouldn’t be around, to begin with.
At the end of the day, the original meaning of the holiday season has always been about human connection and using the time to return to core values such as joy, love, kindness, and compassion. And this is what the festive season is all about; mindfulness, love, and authentic connection.