Jordan is a junior political science and history major and writes "Musings from Moorman" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Jordan at email@example.com.
I was walking back from the library late; it was well past midnight. I was listening to some unconventional Christmas music titled “O Magnum Mysterium.” It was a song I played in high school band. A rendition by the Nordic Chamber Choir echoed through my earbuds in the dead of night.
The song is about the nativity of Jesus in Bethlehem. The song put me there; it made me think of how Christmas is about the birth of Christ, and how one of the biggest steps of human salvation began that night.
If we could hear the mouths of angels sing a song, it might sound like this. That song, for me, is a reminder of the power of music.
Christmas is a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the man who Christian’s believe is the savior of humanity. The secularization of Christmas is an insult to such an event. Cultural appropriation is alive and well here. Our culture does not appreciate Christmas for what it is. It is just fun to exchange some gifts and appropriate the feel-good things about a holiday that secular folks do not take seriously.
This is nobody’s fault, and I am not blaming anybody or holding anybody at fault for not taking Christmas seriously, but I am asking for consistency.
The commercialization of Christmas reminds of me of a child-like mindset. When I was younger, waking up on Christmas morning was the most painful thing to do. I had to walk passed the presents that Santa placed under the tree and go be sedentary in a church for, like, a whole, entire hour.
I did not quite understand what I was at Church for until I got older. Luckily, I learned Christmas was about more than just the presents. But society has not.
We celebrate, sell peppermint everything, and we get ready for what should be more than a cultural celebration without really knowing why.
“But the meaning of Christmas has changed!” Malarkey.
The meaning of something doesn’t just change. There is an objective meaning behind Christmas that is now lost.
When we celebrate our own birthdays, we know why we are celebrating. We understand that it’s a celebration about us, for us, and we want birthdays to be special for our loved ones. We don’t exploit birthdays to make a dollar off our loved ones, we don’t forget why we celebrate, we don’t turn our family member’s birthdays into an obligation, and we don’t get anxiety about our loved one’s birthdays.
We celebrate, and we love. We get excited for those we care about.
If you’re a Christian, why don’t you get excited for Jesus? If you’re not, what are you getting excited for? There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying the holiday spirit. Make a snowman. Watch a hallmark movie. Listen to the new Pentatonix album. But remember why you are doing it. Remember the reason for the season: Jesus, the savior of mankind and his birthday.
Think of the power of that song. “O Great Mystery,” is what it translates to. Have we really forgotten the mystery? Have we gotten so caught up in stuff, and things, that we lost what was important? Have we really allowed the birthday of our Lord to be marginalized down to an arbitrary secular holiday? This is a new mystery. One that, hopefully, we can address together.
This time around the holiday season, perhaps we can try to be intentional with our words, thoughts, and actions, and try to solve the mystery of what Christmas truly is.