Since about 400 AD, Christians have celebrated the birth of Jesus. ‘Christ’s means ‘Messiah’s or ‘Anointed One’s – the title given to Jesus – and ‘Mass” was a religious festival. The real meaning of Christmas is often forgotten. It has become a non-religious holiday more for children who believe more in Santa Claus than in Jesus. Christmas Day is a time for eating and drinking too much and watching television.
But the real Christmas story is found in the Christian Bible. It is told in two different books: Matthew and Luke chapters 1 and 2. These chapters tell how Jesus was born as a baby to Mary. But this was no ordinary birth! She was not married, she was a virgin, and an angel had told her she would bear a special baby. Her fiancé, Joseph, did not believe her at first. But then again, who would? Then an angel spoke him in a dream and said that it was true! So when the time came, they had to travel from their home in Nazareth to Bethlehem, to register their names with the ruling Roman government.
Their arrival in Bethlehem brought made them worried and upset: because there was no room for them to stay at the inn. There was only space in the stable – the animal house for travelers’ donkeys and horses. Jesus was born that night, and as they had no bed for him, they used a trough filled with the hay that the animals ate. It must have been very frightening for a young couple, far from their home and families. This was a very poor place for Jesus to start his life on earth.