General Admission

What is Christmas if not love, forgiving?

By Al S. Mendoza

AS we celebrate Christmas once again on Wednesday, one question from several questions will stick out anew like the proverbial sore thumb.

Like, really, what is Christmas?

Always oozing with wisdom, I eagerly await the word of Pope Francis on this.

Again, how will he define Christmas?

Knowing Pope Francis, I’m sure he’ll come up with another fresh view of Christmas.

He never stops amazing us.

If there’s one Pope that speaks nearly as good as Jesus Christ, that’s Francis.  

But from my own limited knowledge of Christmas, let me hazard a guess?

Christmas, as always, is defined basically by one word: Love.

You have no love in Christmas, your Christmas is lost.

How can there be love in Christmas?

Love everyone you meet, whether friend or stranger.

Smile at anyone.  Your smile means love.

Shake hands with friend or stranger.

That is also a show of love.

These days, if not nights, we are in a party.

Greet each and every one you see “Merry Christmas.”

When you are seated and a guest arrives, do this:

Stand up and persevere to meet the guest.

If you know the guest, extend your hand, say “Merry Christmas” and then make beso-beso.

If you don’t know the guest from Adam, still, extend your hand and say “Merry Christmas.”

You will surely feel happy while returning to your seat.

Now, you need to repeat this all the time, whether the guests number five or a hundred and five.

Everywhere, whether in the city or in the boondocks, never get tired giving.

For giving is love.

Humbly, I do my bit of it as much as I can.

Even if it’s not Christmas, I try my best to hand out a little “something” to the janitor tending the washroom.

And to beggars tapping our window cars—they multiply every Christmas—they deserve a little of our “something.”

It’s against the law both for our brethren begging on the streets as well as us alms-givers.

But then, think that giving to your brother is not against the law of love.

Giving is the ultimate show of love during Christmas.

I believe in the saying, “Love till it hurts.”

That is really the truest test of love.

When you give but there’s more a roomful to give, go on, give pa more.

But when there’s nothing more to give, that’s when your wits—and sanity—is put to an acid test.

Because love hurts, give that last peso in your pocket if only to bail someone mired in dire straits.

That is in keeping with the essence of the Bible:  Love one another.

And, yes, love is at its best when you love more those who hurt you than those who love you.

Which, in a nutshell, means love is also forgiving.

For, how can there be love if we can’t forgive?

It is only in forgiving that we can really express the meaning of love this season of seasons.

Merry Christmas!

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