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The Secret of Christmas

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. JOHN 1:14

From these words in the Gospel according to John arise the fulfillment of God’s promise. How God kept His word that He will send His only be gotten son to send mankind from sin. To bring His most precious creation, Man, back to him through His son who humbled hiinself by assuming the form of a man.

The tiny baby in the manger we see in the traditional Christmas Belen is the fruition of God’s word. The symbol of God’s infinite love. He is the reason for the season. All the hustle and bustle, toing and troing are because of this little infant.

Or is he, indeed? We heard someone make an observation as to how absurd it is that people are spending so much time and money to commemorate an event that does not even have spiritual value to them. Times have really changed.

It’s seems many of us have forgotten the true spirit of Christmas. We are overcome by all the activities, places and events of the season we forget to sit still and reflect on why we are celebrating at all.

Love is the reason. God’s unfathomable love for mankind. And by extension, love for our neighbors and love for each other.

As we watch media reports on our kababayans who are victims of the recent typhoon Urduja, we urge each one of us to find within himself the spirit of love and giving. Biliran, Leyte Samar… there is no lack of opportunity to help.

Spare a moment set aside a few pesos. In fact, why not go all out and instead of buying that new iPhone X as a gift for yourself, donate it to the typhoon victims instead?

Let’s be thankful that we are safe and secure in our comfortable homes. Perhaps our biggest problem is whether that Marca Pina queso de bola or slice of Excelente jamon will be no good for our cholesterol level. We forget that others don’t have anything to eat at all, Noche Buena or not.

And so, as the Father has been generous in giving Jesus to us, let us do likewise.

As a Christmas tradition, let me share with you once again a priceless lesson we have learned from one of the wisest men we have ever known: the late Salvador “Ka Sonny” Escudero III, former Representative of the first district of the province of Sorsogon.

Ka Sonny passed away a few years ago, but we will never forget him and the words of wisdom he imparted. He believed that the true meaning of Christmas was not found in the outward manifestations of this most blessed event in our Christian life.

Ka Sonny always gently reminded us that the spirit of Christmas was not limited to Christmas day alone. He said Christmas was a year-long affair. Selflessness, thoughtfulness, love and forgiveness were values that should be practiced all year round.

Ka Sonny was my co-host in a radio program where we really got to know him, as well as his family very well.

There is an old but popular song that clearly reflected Ka Sonny’s philosophy. Check it out on Spotify or YouTube and choose Bing Crosby’s or Frank Sinatra’s “The Secret of Christmas”. You’ll understand what we’re saying.

It was Ka Sonny’s favorite Christmas song and we always played it on the air every Christmas season. The lyrics of the song are as follows:

“Oh It’s not the glow you feel when snow appears

It’s not the Christmas card you’ve sent for years

Not the joyful sound when sleigh bells ring (ring, ring, ring)

Or the merry songs children sing

Yeah, the little gift you send on Christmas day

Will not bring back the friend you turned away

So may I suggest the secret of Christmas (the secret of Christmas)

It’s not the things you do at Christmas time

But the Christmas things you do all year through?

La la, la la la, la la la, la la la la

So may I suggest the secret of Christmas (the secret of Christmas)

It’s not the things you do at Christmas time

But the Christmas things you do all year?

Look at the happy people (it’s not the things you do)

Christmas is in the air (it’s not the glow you feel)

Well, I know the secret of Christmas

A secret I’m willing to share

The secret of Christmas”

Let the spirit of generosity and giving prevail not only during Christmas, but throughout the year.

Let’s bring joy and hope amid the chaos and seeming hopelessness of today’s world.

Who knows, the secret of Christmas may not be such a secret anymore.

Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon po sa inyong lahat!

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