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We’ve all seen a Christmas tree, Santa and Frosty but what’s so special about this time of year.
By Brian W. Carter, Sentinel Staff Writer
It’s that time of the year and the word for the season is “joyful.” Christmas, one of the most celebrated holidays around the globe, offers an interesting view on the human condition. People go through a variety of emotions and thoughts around this time, but what does Christmas mean to people?
One of the more obvious answers is the birth of Jesus Christ or “the reason for the season,” for many people. Although not the actual birth date of the Messiah, December 25th is held by billions around the world as a special time in Christianity. People all over the world flock to churches, temples and masses to partake in communion, services and other festivities this time of year.
Christmas is also one of the busiest times of year as people flock to stores to take advantage of sales and bargains. Many are shopping for family and friends alike for gifts to give, and open on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. People take to the highways and the skies to travel to be with loved ones throughout the nation and the world.
Various local businesses, organizations and churches hold toy-drives, food programs and holiday services for those less fortunate during this time of year. Diamond Beauty Supply & Accessories is one of those businesses, which gave ten, inner-city families a “Winter Wonderland” Christmas.
Although there are some people who do not celebrate the holiday, due to other practices or lack of interest, people become happier around this time for the most part.
For most people out there amidst all the hustle and bustle, Christmas is a time of joy and family. At a local South L.A. mall shared their feelings about what Christmas meant to them.
Ashley C., an employee at a local mall, is getting into the spirit of the holiday and looking forward to it, explained:
“It’s a time to spend with your family… be happy and just a general time to enjoy each other and your friends—just come together and celebrate.”
Jasmin W. reflected some of the same sentiments about the holiday as she window- shopped with a friend. She said, “It’s my favorite holiday, it’s a big holiday for me [and] the whole Christ part of it.”
Many shoppers take the time to speak on what they felt was the more important aspect of the holiday in general. Some felt that the spirit of Christmas was lost in commercialization and materialism, while others felt that Jesus should be the main focus.
“This is the season to think about the birth of Jesus Christ and in that spirit, the spirit of giving to others,” said one holiday shopper about the meaning of Christmas to him.
“Christmas has become too commercialized,” said Bridget H. “They have lost the reason and the thought—time to be with family, sharing, loving and caring.
“It’s not about what you can give somebody or what they can give you—it’s just about being with your family.”
Alexander K. is feeling the Christmas spirit as he’s enjoying the time off from school and studies. He’s also looking forward to spending time with his family and friends. He said, “It’s very comforting, it’s a time to relax, a time to make plans, no school, none of that.”
“As a young person… we get to hang out with our friends and go out. We get a long break and a long rest. It’s very nice to take the time to just hang out with our parents.”
Some people were experiencing a bittersweet Christmas this year as loved ones have passed away.
“[It’s] kind of sad, I don’t really like Christmas anymore because my Grandma died two days before it,” said Rayvin B.
“Christmas is a nice holiday, I mean it’s the birth of Jesus Christ, I love Christmas, presents and all of that but it’s not a happy moment.”
Another mall employee was also feeling a little blue this season due to the passing of her father but still expressed a love for the season in general.
The general consensus on Christmas is that this is a time for joy and family. There is no doubt that despite the blues, a struggling economy and naysayers, Christmas won’t be going anywhere, anytime soon.
“This time of year [is] about family basically, getting together, spending time with each other,” said Imani A.
“Getting that negativity away from you and [being] joyful.”