Christmas is for the Holiday Spirit

Lydia Ryu, Writer

Christmas is traditionally the day that everyone gets to gather around the house to enjoy the warmth of the fireplace, talk about how busy their days have been, and appreciate some amazing meals with a family feast. This historical holiday, originating from the Victorian period, is usually celebrated to encourage having beloved people beside you – no matter if they are your families, friends, or even acquaintances. As such, Christmas as a day commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ definitely continues to reflect the values of love and spirituality that everyone can share with each other.

The origin of Christmas dates back to the arrival of Jesus in Christianity. This religious festival expanded through the decades to become one of the biggest secular family holidays (according to the Encyclopedia Britannica). Revolving around the primary purpose of Jesus spreading love and expressing gratitude, the definition added to itself as time passed by to involve the widely-known figure named Santa Claus since the Victorian period. This modern adaptation of the meaning of Christmas also depicts the affectionate nature of this holiday; by Santa giving out presents to lovely children who have done good deeds. As such, the definition of X-mas is full of love and gratitude regardless of how much time has passed since it first emerged from religious principles.

My personal experience with this day of the year definitely reflects this value. Our family members usually decorate a big Christmas tree using colorful ornaments to celebrate the festivity of the holiday. The process of driving to the store to purchase decorating materials, consulting each other about what would fit the tree the most, and working together to hang them up in the right places helped our family bond. Then, we would gather around the Christmas tree together after that rigorous work to talk about what we have done throughout the year and reflect as a group. We’d think back on our amazing experiences such as visiting our favorite French restaurant to get dinner and then go to Gyeongju for a short vacation. It is a day that could bring all your family together and foster love.

Studies help prove this positive impact that Christmas has on people. According to the study conducted on eleven datasets and over 2,500 participants from “The Journal of Positive Psychology”, “collective effervescence,” a sense of connection and meaning that comes from collective events could be felt from common gatherings. This feeling gives people meaning and brings joy to life; “collective effervescence” actually predicts well-being far more than other indicators.

This wonderful time of the year could become an incomparable experience for people who are stressed from repetitive daily routines. Carols and Christmas tunes are already filling up the streets — spending time with families, friends, and beloved people beside you will make this the best day to refresh yourself and finish up your restless year.