Posted on December 28th, 2010

IN FOCUS BY  Dr. Tilak S. Fernando

Christmas comes but once a year, and how we mortals avow year on year never to get caught up in the commercial hype that prevails during this festive season? As December dawns atmosphere in every town changes while endless shopping by people of all faiths, Christian, Buddhist or  Muslim,  who automatically get caught up with the spontaneity for the big day  throttling  the arteries and nerve centers of the road traffic.

Christmas by and large is a feast of the Nativity of Christ. Although the actual date of birth of Christ is unknown, yet   the British have picked up 25 December as a festival long before the introduction of Christianity while many of its customs also have a heathen origin.  

 Jesus was born as an ordinary man and led a simple life.  He was a traveler  and  did not  pay any  heed to amass wealth but his mission was to educate the masses and instill tolerance, forbearance, love and compassion  in every heart, for,  he was fully aware that  “ƒ”¹…” out of the heart of man  surface  evil thought, theft , murder, adultery , fornication, wickedness, deceit, recklessness, envy, slander,  arrogance and folly,  All evil things come from within  to defile man unless  the heart is pure and the mind is cleansed’ ( Mark 7:21-23).

Celebration of Christmas on 25 December commenced in the West since 336 AD, partly to replace the pagan Sun Worship on the same date. By the end of fourth Century Christmas Day became universally accepted with the “ƒ”¹…”jolly old man with white whiskers who brings joy to children during Christmas in his red sack, “ƒ”¹…”through the roof or chimney’ originated from St. Nicholas, the patron saint of school children and sailors during 4-5 Century A.D.

St. Nicholas was regarded as the Bishop of Myra in Lycia ( Asia Minor). The earliest miracle attributed to him was the rescue of three army officers who were unjustly condemned to death but saved by St. Nicholas’s appearance in a dream to Constantine 1.

In the 17th Century Dutch Protestant settlers in New York (New Amsterdam then) replaced St. Nicholas    ( Sinter Claes) by the generous magician  called Santa Claus.  This transformation has ever since spread to many countries in the world. Judging by the sub zero temperatures that have affected the West this year, Santa may have been certainly a worried old man at his headquarters in the Lapland.

On this special day Christians should reflect on the issues what Jesus Christ really expected of man. Yet it is unfortunate to see how Christmas has been allowed to transform into a high-priced occasion where both religion and man have been possessed and conditioned by commerce.

Modern children expect more and more sophisticated and expensive electronic toys and games  during Christmas, which give them only momentary pleasure. Parents spending on tinsels most of the time have no real meaning except lasting only for a few hours or weeks the most.

Entrepreneurs concentrate on mega productions of numerous electronic contraptions and toys to boost up their profit margins. Women who normally swear by their slimming diets and rigorous workouts to maintain their curves and to tone up their sagging  muscles tend to lose their will power, rather than losing weight, when they begin to tuck into rich food, chocolates and cakes   during the festive season.

At no other time during the year  is hypocrisy  becomes  so rampant  when  people try to   be extra nice  to each other.  Some keep on buying presents to avoid any embarrassment at the eleventh hour  as one is unable to  predict, during  Christmas, who will come out with  what ?

As the  Christmas fever  gets warmer and hotter  Office Christmas merrymaking  with extended lunch breaks can bring  the activities of any business house to a standstill. It is during such festivity highly “ƒ”¹…”spirited’ colleagues hug each other, kiss the ladies on the cheek saying “Merry Christmas to you” while making  an effort to avoid  strong aroma emanating  either from cheap perfume or strong scent of Dolce and Gabbna or Givenchy Amarige D’amour or even to try and avoid the possible black out through suffocation caused by the repugnant body ordour of your best male or female colleague. In that sense it would be appropriate to move with the times and appropriately change the word Christmas to  just “ƒ”¹…” Kiss Mus ( flesh)!

.After 2010 years Jesus Christ’s statements are still being recognised as one of the most powerful and spiritual teachings in the world.  Christ demonstrated how to be tolerant even during his traumatic moments on the cross by loving and forgiving the very people who sentenced him to death. Therefore,  it would be appropriate that those responsible Christian leaders address the issue openly and get  the message through to people loud and clear that enjoyment during Christmas is not  by making it a commercial fun fare or killing pigs and disemboweling chicken.

If one were to examine Jesus Christ’s birthday under the spiritual microscope, it should point toward each observer’s “ƒ”¹…”birthday’ to identify one’s weaknesses and to be reborn with new resolutions of becoming a better  individual in the year ahead.

2 Responses to “IS IT CHRISTMAS OR ‘KISS MUS’ !”

  1. De Costa Says:

    Last two paragraphs are distinctly different to the one before. Especially true is the second last one if examined in Buddhist perspective, but clearly, writer is pretending to be philosophical after writing some Sri Lankan style unimpressive sarcasm in the previous one. However there is no record of Jesus asking people not to kill animals for consumption because he himself caught fish and donated to people with compassion ( to humans only). Therefore the writer’s effort to preach avihimsa to Christians and Muslims is totally useless. For Buddhist who celebrate Christmas this paragraph has some value, if one does not read the rest.
    Being extra nice for a moment is also practiced by majority of Sinhala Buddhist when doing mettha meditation- although it never meant to be pretending that is what the final result will be in most cases without samma ditthi.
    The third last paragraph was written seems to be written out of jealousy, unable to look at people celebrating and having a good time with Muditha as taught by Buddha. This paragraph shows definite hatred towards a certain class of people and westerners celebrating Christmas.
    “Kiss Mus” practice has reached Sri Lanka form the west – party goers practice it in every party. So what is the fuss? Writer could have written this addressed to Colombians rather than criticizing western practice in general. However in Muslim countries very similar gesture is exchanged when two Muslims meet and I must say there is real friendliness as I perceive it.
    Writers’ message regarding commercial aspects is true but this is the way economy is heading now and going against it will not bring any benefit.

  2. Naram Says:

    I found Dr Fernando’s article very interesting. Christmas hasbecome a massive commercial event withmany goods produced and pushed down the throats of children and the haplessparents. Packaging alone contributing heavily to waste and filling the stratosphire with noxiousresidues.

    Harking back to 17th century reformists who found a new life in New York, I recallan article I came across recently about the scene in Netherlands at thetime. It was more or less a colony of the major power in Europe Spain at the time. Spain, Portugal, Italy had their royals and aristocracy joined by kinship and all came under Catholic jurisdiction. Many reformists, who questioned the authority of the Pope were tortured and burned at stake and it is to escape that fate that many sailed to USA. The account by John Lothrop Motley – Rise of Netherlands can be read in the web.

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