The original religious purpose of this festival, namely the remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ in a small town called Bethleham in the Middle East, has gradually been eroded by the secular and materialistic emphasis.
Devout Christians (estimated to be approximately 10% of the population) remember the coming of Christ into this world in humble circumstances, just over 2000 years ago. They will attend church on Christmas Eve, and /or Christmas Day and will sin carols and pray and thank God for sending Jesus to be the saviour of mankind.
Nativity plays, the angel's visit to Mary to tell her hse is to bear a divine child and call him Jesus. Mary and Joseph and the baby have to say in a stale.
The story generates a colourful and interesting spectacle and is a great favourite with the children.
It also served to brighten up the cold dark days of mid-winter and to create a distraction form the discomforts of the season.
Christians adopted this festival and made it their own.
Christmas tree, the traditional dinner which usually consists of turkey, or goose followed by a special Christmas pudding and cake, the sending of cards, Father Christmas/Santa Claus, Boxing Day...etc. Many of these aspects of Christmas are enjoyable and heart warming, and can have symbolic meaning for those who participate in them.
The Christmas period may come as a profound shock particularly for those religious, this once deeply religious festival now means nothing more than an endless round of parties, an excuse for over-eating, increased intake of alcohol, and a huge spending spree, urging people to buy more and more expensive toys, drinks and presents. But in spite of the increasing trend towards secularisation, Christmas can still be a precious and meaningful time for those who believe its truths and sesire to see its message of peace, love and forgiveness spread around the globe.