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Hartselle Enquirer

The true meaning of Christmas

Each year, it’s easy to forget the meaning of Christmas.

We all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, whether it’s making sure you’ve bought presents for your children, spouses, significant others, friends and other family members.

We have numerous events, parties and dinners to attend or host during this time of year. Our schedule is so busy that we never get a chance to reflect on why we celebrate this day.

That message still rings true today. It signifies the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

One Christmas TV special seems to ring true for the last 46 years: “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Yes, this cartoon has been seen every year on network TV and its commentary on the commercialization of Christmas is probably more relevant today than ever.

In it, Linus quotes the famous passage from Luke that describes the birth of Jesus. That same passage was something that we always read at the dinner table on Christmas Eve in the Maze household. (However, my brother did like to read Matthew 1 so he could show off and pronounce all of the names in the lineage of Jesus.)

While we still opened presents and did all of the fun things that you do at Christmas time, my parents always found time to include the real Christmas story in our family celebrations.

At my grandparents’ house on Christmas Day, my grandmother would always sit down at the piano and play Christmas carols while everyone else would sing.

Although us kids just wanted to get outside and play with our new toys, our family showed us that there’s more than just presents, food and fun, but Christmas is the day we celebrate the birth of Christ. Maybe he wasn’t really born on Dec. 25 more than 2,000 years ago, but he was born, lived, died and rose again.

And the greatest gift of all was born on a bed of straw represented in the manger scene.

When we realize that, the spirit of Christmas will remain throughout the year even though the holiday has passed and the lights are dimmed.

That’s a gift that I wish we would all receive.

Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.