During the Christmas holidays, we tend to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, that we sometimes forget the essence of Christmas. We even remove Christ from the word Christmas reducing it to X'mas or substituting it with a name of a product or a shopping center." Yes, guys, honestly, that's it... I really don't enjoy received "XMAS GREETINGS"... .
Somehow, I am glad looking forward to a two weeks vacation "between the years" - meaning to say between December 21 and January 7. No German consulate office, no teaching at University of Southeastern Philippines, although most students wish to be prepared for their January exam in Manila. I might spend only a very office hours in my agency office.
A rest from some occupation, business and other stressful activities is waiting for me. Strictly speaking, vacation concerns those who are in school or studying in colleges and universities. "Furlough" would be the appropriate term...
Christmas and vacation: Speaking about myself - I want to bring back Christ to the holiday season and indeed wish to share my blessings with the less fortunate. One of the best-known religious poems is "The Hound of Heaven" written by Francis Thompson, who tried to run away from God. He wanted to have a vacation from God. In reality it is Thompson's own life. His poem shows clearly the fact in this world that we can have a vacation from physical and mental activities, but never from God.
As I stated in one of my previous columns here : according to the book of Genesis, after God created the universe in six days, he rested on the seventh day. In other words, he took a vacation. So if God rested after working for some period of time, there is no reason why man, who is finite and limited in his physical strength, should not take a vacation.
Vacation is freedom or release from tension or pressure of work. And, believe me, I learned already from my students, that they will enjoy Christmas and vacation. Many of us feel tired and weak. We are stressed, overwhelmed, depressed and worried about the future - the enumeration, in any order whatever, could be incessant.
Relaxation, meditation, and reinvigoration are badly needed for most of us nowadays. Life, affected by the "burnout syndrome" needs to be animated with energy and strengths.
Yes, Christmas has always been equated with all these worldly ways. Sure, there is indeed nothing wrong with this. I might sound like an old and broken record - but: let's don't only focus on non-stop merrymaking and countless gifts. Let's take a break, and let's try to imagine and enjoy the real meaning of Christmas. Merry Christmas again to everyone - also from this corner... .
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