OpinionsVox PopuliWhat for you is the meaning of Christmas?

What for you is the meaning of Christmas?

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For me, family is the meaning of Christmas. Wherever we may be throughout the year, we all make it a point to be together on Christmas time. — Angelo Villanueva, manager, Dumaguete Outdoors

Christmas is about sharing from our hearts what we have — with those who have less in life — not only during this season but for the reason that we can be conduits of blessings to them all throughout the year. — Randolph Bandiola, proprietor, Algorithm Computer Services

Christmas is a time to remind us to show love by sharing what we have — not only material things but also Christian moral values. — Dr. Rosalie Mildred Santillan-Badon, optometrist, RSB Santillan-Badon Optical Clinic

The real and deeper meaning of Christmas is not found under the Christmas tree but where there is sharing of hope, peace, joy, and love to all. — Clee Villasor, photography instructor, SU College of Communication

I believe Christmas can be summed up into the 3Gs: Gift, Giver, Giving. The greatest gift to mankind is Jesus Christ Himself. It’s more blessed to give than to receive. — Dr. Batchiba Lacdo-o, vice president for Academic Affairs, St. Paul University Dumaguete

Christmas is the time to celebrate and be thankful for the birth of Christ, and we celebrate this very special season with our family and friends. It’s a time to be happy and peaceful, and to give, and share our blessings with others. — Atty. Ma. Katrina Gonzales, municipal legal officer, Valencia

Our first without our father, who would have celebrated his 59th year exactly on Dec. 25. But Christmas is always a celebration of memories, of life of the present and of the past. In fact, we live it according to our recollection of our childhood years. Christmas then to me is vividly about Christmas lunch with family, relatives, and some friends; and hosting a modest get-together for our househelps and neighbors. It’s largely a sharing of whatever little is available, material or otherwise, in exchange of nothing more than self-fulfillment. — Mark Raygan Garcia, director, SU Office of Information & Publications

Christmas is not a retreat from reality or withdrawal from the stress and sorrow of life. Sometimes we get so caught up with the gift-giving, the homecomings, the shopping, the fun, etc., and we fail to realize that Christmas is celebrating the birth of our Prince of Peace who came to give light to our dark world. — Judge Arlene Dato, Regional Trial Court

Christmas is the season of celebrating God’s greatest gift to humankind, His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus. In the birth of Jesus came the Prince of Peace. In the birth of Jesus came hope, love, peace, joy. — Prof. Carlos Magtolis Jr., dean, SU Office of Student Affairs

Christmas is love. It’s a time to be thankful for anything and everything. — Georgette Gonzales, consultant for Corporate Communications, Colegio de Sta. Catalina de Alejandria

Christmas is a time for family and sharing. It is a celebration of the birth of our Savior. — Andrew Manalili, proprietor, ADB Printing Press

Christmas is… the sparkling of lights everywhere; but the most special one is the star over the manger…it is the sound of carols in the air; but the song the angels sang is the one I so wish to hear. — Gladys Rio-Malayang, reproductive health care advocate

For me, the essence of Christmas is the idea of gift-giving. The gift is something valuable and valued because it is freely given, not owed. And it is usually intended as a pleasant surprise. Wasn’t this what happened when humanity got a gift wrapped in swaddling clothes? — Atty. Gilbert R. Arbon, provincial head, Department of Science & Technology

Christmas is not about superficial giving. Rather, it should remind us that we should live for the sole purpose of God’s glory. — Ned Carlos, principal architect, Carlos & Antique Architects

Christmas for my family is the time to bond together, and to reflect on God’s great love for mankind, and for us specifically whom He has blessed beyond measure with things money can not buy. — Atty. Raymund Mercado, governor, Integrated Bar of the Philippines Negros Oriental Chapter

Christmas is a time for healing, of forgetting the pains brought about in the past year, of sharing, and of opening our hearts to endless possibilities. — Dr. Roullette Pis-an Cordevilla, English professor, Foundation University

Too big to explain but I guess I could say it’s the time of year to celebrate and express the best of Filipino Christianity. — Antonio “Babbu” Wenceslao, proprietor, Island Life Adventure Shop

Christmas is the time to celebrate the love of Jesus by giving and sharing generously. — Joyce Solomon, proprietor, Aquasoft

Christmas is for the family to love and care more for each other, giving and sharing with the less-fortunate, and thanking Him for everything. — Engr. Jul Gallogo, contractor, DN Steel

CHRISTmas is about the greatest gift of all — how much God loves us, how truly very special we are! — Chitty Dominado, community coordinator, Dumaguete Habitat

Christmas is a time to celebrate God’s birth. The most famous statement in the Bible is Jesus’ explanation of why God sent Him to earth: “God loved the world so much that He gave His only and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” The entire reason for Christmas is the love of God. Christmas is a time to celebrate that God loves you, that God is with you, and that God is for you. That’s why the first statement the angels made to the shepherds was: “Do not be afraid.” Jesus came to save us, not to scare us. It’s a reason to celebrate. It’s also a time for salvation, as Jesus came to save us from sin. This is also a time for reconciliation. As the angels announced the arrival of the Prince of Peace, Jesus offered us the peace of God, as true peace is from Him alone. — Ruben “Bobot” Bokingo, president, SU Alumni Association Inc. —Dumaguete Chapter

Christmas is the season of being asked for the nth time, “[Where’s] my Christmas gift?” and the torture thereafter of not giving the right gift to close family and friends. — Atty. Bentham dela Cruz, municipal mayor, Amlan

Redemption of a sinful world by God Himself. All of us must join the incarnate Lord to save ourselves. — Dr. Henry A. Sojor, president, Negros Oriental State University

Christmas in the real sense is the coming of the Messiah to save mankind from our greed, selfishness, apathy, and hatred. Instead, we give not because we want to receive. Not Santa Claus, it is not Biblical. We share the love of God through the birth of Jesus. We come alive not only in December but all year round. — Rudy Juan, Silliman Church

The meaning of Christmas to me is one word: Love. The un-fathomable love of God for us that He gave His Son, that we in our own ways can share that love with others at Christmas, and all throughout the year. — Shelley Palmore-Teves, human resources manager, Foundation University

Christmas is Emmanuel — God with us, in us, for us, among us. Christmas is God revealing Himself to us, and indwelling in us. — Francel Martinez, executive director, Negros Oriental Investment Promotion Center

Christmas is about spending more time with the family. Family is the basic core of our existence, with the guidance of God. — Malou Saceda, flight stewardess, Philippine Airlines

My awareness of Christmas happened at age four in the hills where we were hiding from the Japanese. Mother was gone and Father was raising his three young children by himself. No church, no festivities, no panulindaw to alert us to the Advent Season — just Father’s startled statement that night: “Uy, it’s Christmas again!” He told the Christmas story and sang The First Noel to us. In our dimly-lit room, I thought the song sounded so sad, “…on a cold winter’s night that was so deep….” But he added: “Christmas will be different when ‘peace time’ returns.” Two more Christmases were spent on the hills, times mixed with fear and anxiety that the adults communicated to us of the possibility that a Japanese patrol might find our hiding place. When the war ended, it was like entering a new world, as Father had said, Christmas was different. Today, although I live in relatively peaceful Dumaguete, blessed by the luxury of celebrating Christmas unlike those stark Christmases so long ago, the elusiveness of peace on earth brings sadness to the Season. And at my age, hope is hard to come by. — Lorna Peña-Reyes Makil, sociologist

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