So This Is Christmas!

Christmas is upon us and Colombo has come alive with the hundreds of decorations that adorn the city.

The Colombo Municipal Council building and its premises, including the road that runs along it, is transformed into fairyland like atmosphere, when hundreds of tiny bulbs are switched on each evening.

Not to be outdone, most buildings, walkways, and trees in and around the city have taken on a festive look.  Churches and other institutions conduct carol services and offices organize their annual get-togethers.

People are busy with last-minute shopping for the festive season. In a multi-religion nation such as Sri Lanka, everyone participates in each other’s celebrations and it’s not uncommon to see many homes sporting a Christmas tree even if they are not of the faith. 

However, what is missing in the city is the nativity scene that depicts the birth of Christ Jesus, which is what Christmas is all about.

Christ was born in a lowly manger in the city of Bethlehem, definitely not surrounded by millions of light bulbs and tinsel, though the Christmas story tells us that the three magi who were searching for baby Jesus were guided by a brilliant star to where the newborn babe lay.

Christmas is certainly here, judging by the festivities but the glad tidings of peace, goodwill and love is lost in the commercialism that has taken over this feast.  The message of the Holy child born in a stable to a teenage refugee is lost among the lights, the gala’s, the shopping and music festivals, partying  and crass display of wealth.