By Dylan Seidt
Christmas is upon us! The decorations, music, and holiday treats are reminders that Christmas is well underway. As a fifteen-year-old Catholic, the traditions, service, and memories make Christmas such a meaningful time of the year to me. All of these things stem from the birth of Jesus Christ. The traditions we celebrate today have been around since the days of the early Church. The early Christians celebrated Mass and prayed the Our Father, just like we do. An emphasis on service traces back to Christ’s public ministry. Christ placed such a great importance on serving others and encourages us to do the same. Christmas is also a great time for us to reflect on the memories we have made throughout the year and the many blessings we have.
One of my favorite traditions is attending the Children’s Mass on Christmas Eve. When I was little, I always felt special going up on the altar and listening to the priest talk about the Christmas Story in a way I could understand. The Children’s Mass brings so much joy to the families and all the members of the congregation. The children’s happy faces remind us of the next generation who are called to serve God. As I have grown, I have transitioned into participating in the Children’s Mass in a different way: altar serving. I am so grateful for the opportunity to partake in this ministry, as it is a Christmas tradition that makes my faith come to life! There are so many other ways to live out our faith, and Christmas is the perfect time to reflect on those ways.
The Christmas season is also about serving others. We are all created in the image and likeness of God, and we all have something unique to contribute to those less fortunate than we are. I like to take time during the Christmas season to reflect on God’s blessings and how I can share them with others. Sharing our time can be as simple as volunteering or spending time with the people we care about. Christmas is about reaching out to someone who might be attending Christmas Mass alone. We can invite someone new into our homes for Christmas dinner. Being welcoming is a great way to live out our call to service this holiday season.
The holidays are also a time to reflect on the events that our families, our community, and our world have experienced this past year. We can all agree that sometimes we get lost in the busyness of the Christmas season. Students are preparing for finals, parents are busy shopping and cooking, and others are wrapping up projects before the year ends. However, if we take a step back, we can reflect and appreciate the memories we have made this year. Memories can come in many shapes and sizes. You may have welcomed a new child into your family, celebrated an anniversary, or have earned a degree. You may also be grateful for accomplishing the small challenges each new day has brought. These memories are made possible through the blessings and grace given to us by God. We can find gratitude in each of our memories.
I believe it is important to keep the true meaning of Christmas alive in our hearts and alive in our world. Christmas to me is all about living out my faith through traditions, service, and reflecting on the blessings of the past year. Even though we all may have our own unique way of celebrating Christmas, we are all united through our faith! Have a Merry Christmas!