The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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December 22, 2000 Issue

What is the true meaning of Christmas?

High school freshmen explore their own thoughts on holiday

What does Christmas mean to you?

That question was explored recently by freshman in the combined religious education class at St. Aloysius, Kaukauna. Students from St. Al, St. Mary and Holy Cross Parishes finished the sentence "Christmas for me is."

Some of their responses were forwarded to The Compass by Jane Schaefer, religious education coordinator for grades 7 to 11:

Christmas for me is ...

Christmas to most people is all about the presents. I can't lie, it sort of is to me too. But it is also a time to be with my family. We share many memories every Christmas. It is a time of great joy to all those who are unfortunate. Everybody is always so happy at Christmas. At least I always am. - Michelle Lamers

... getting family and friends together to share the happiness with others. It means giving to people gifts so that you will receive thanks in return. It means putting those pretty lights up on the roof. Decorating the house with red and green. It means that it is Jesus' birthday and we should rejoice. Christmas is having fun. The most important thing is the eating part. We celebrate with all of the ornaments on the tree filled with memories. - Alisha Morse

To me, getting together with family is fun because we get to joke around and open gifts. Christmas is a way to help those who are less fortunate than I am. Christmas is the day that Jesus was born and we celebrate his birth by having a big feast and celebration. We get together with those we love and those who love us. - Amy Morse

... a time to be with friends and family. I think some families only see each other on major holidays so it is important to have Christmas. If it wasn't for this holiday, some families would never see or even talk to each other. I also think that Christmas is a time for love and joy. - Ashley Menting

... a time for family and friends and celebrating Jesus' birth. Cookies, candy and presents mean nothing because they aren't the meaning of Christmas. Presents are items we give to others that we feel represent ourselves in one way or another. Presents also represent God giving us his son, Jesus. - Megan Vander Pas

... giving and receiving. It is also the birthday of Jesus. Christmas is a big celebration that is a time for family and spiritual time. Everyone gets together as a family and gives gifts to each other. It's a happy time for almost everyone. - Nicole Kilgas

... getting together with my family members and giving gifts. I like the food my family makes together. I like putting lights up around the house and on the tree. - Kevin Buechel

... getting together with my family and giving gifts. I like the foods my grandma and mom make; they're awesome. Christmas is my favorite holiday because I love putting up lights on my house and decorating the house. - Nicole Feldkamp

... getting together with family and having a party. We eat lots of food and we exchange gifts. We put up a Christmas tree and lights on our house. We go to church as a family. - Abby Mader

... the birth of Jesus our Lord. It means happiness and joy and being with friends and family to have fun. It is also to pray for the needy who are not as fortunate as us. Christmas should be a happy and joyous time for everyone, but somehow, I guess, everyone finds a way to make Christmas the way it should be. - Jeremiah Marsicek

... a time to celebrate Jesus' birthday. It is also a time to give and share. Spending time with family friends. Another is to go to church to pray and sing to the Lord. - Holly Meyer

... a time of joy! A time to laugh, a time to sing, a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas to me is a time to give and to remember those who have less or are less fortunate. It's when you look at your life and say, hey, look at all the lovely things I have and look at the little neighbor boy who wants a toy truck but just doesn't have that extra dime. That's when you need to make a decision. The day you give a little will be the day you feel a change, maybe more grown up. - Vanessa Hoffman

... one of the most important things; it is above all other events. This is the birthday of our savior, the one who made it possible for our spirit to survive. This, along with Easter, is the basis of our religion, our purpose. The goal of our faith is to find Jesus and once we understand the true meaning of this celebration (and helping others to also realize it) we are on the right path to reach it. - Justin Severson

... a time to celebrate with family and friends. We celebrate the birth of Jesus. We celebrate the life of the king. We should worship and give praise. We should spend time thanking Jesus for all he has given us. - Mandy Ploederl

... the birth of the Catholic religion, although most people see through the meaning and just think of receiving presents. - Mike McCormick

Families come together and people help each other. It's a time of giving. It's very joyous with music and the excitement and preparation for the coming of Jesus. People come together to help each other in this very special time of celebration. Everyone is happy with the coming of Christ's birth drawing near. - Elaina Landreman,

... a chance to celebrate Christ's birthday/birth. It is also a chance to get together with family and friends and say thanks for all we have and don't have. In short, a chance to have a family prayer. - Trever Kitzman

... a very busy holiday. Everyone is rushing around to buy Christmas presents for their friends and family. It has developed into just how much the gift costs and not the thought behind it. People don't really think about the birth of Jesus until around Christmas eve. - Jackie Van Den Eng

... the celebration of Christ's birth. It's a very holy time of the year where gifts are given and received with love from friends and family members. Even if the gifts are worth nothing, the thought of giving it is what counts. - Josh Griesbach

... sharing your love with your family and spending time with them. Also thanking God and saying Amen. Christmas is a time for giving and to really live life to the fullest. Christmas is the birthday of Christ. - Kristin Brochtrup

... a time to gather together to celebrate. Celebrate and rejoice. Rejoice in the birth of Our Lord. To rejoice the birth of Our Lord, we must forgive and be forgiven. - Ben Huelsbeck

...the celebration of the birth of Our Lord. It is the joyous time of year when families gather to reminisce on old memories and to create wonderful new memories. Everyone goes to Mass and listens to the terrific music of the choir. They then eat a huge feast to celebrate Jesus. - David Kress

... fun! I like snow and Christmas music and Christmas trees and cookies and all that good Christmas food. I like presents too. It is fun to give other people gifts and get them in return. The hugs and love and closeness of families are cool too. Getting dressed up and going to church is fun too. The church is usually decorated with beautiful Christmas decorations. There is usually a good choir that sings the Christmas songs. - Amber Mueller

... a time to get together with family and friends and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Without Jesus the world will be really different. Nothing to believe in or nothing to look forward to after death. - Jenny Huss

... a good time. I like Christmas the most of any holiday because it's the holiday where the most sharing and giving is happening. It also is a great celebration of the birth of Christ. - Den Liebergen

... celebrating Jesus' birth. I think it is also honoring Mary who said she would have Jesus. She risked losing her husband to be, St. Joseph, for this baby. She had a big responsibility and she accepted. It also is for taking time to say thanks to God for giving us the greatest present. So in return we give to others. Sometimes though people get caught up in the Christmas shopping and preparation that we forget just to stop and say "Thanks". - Leah Klister

... not just getting presents. It's sharing things with others. Once in a while myself and other family members go giving poor families gifts. Not only does this give them joy it brings joy to me also. Christmas is a time of thinking as well as sharing Jesus. I like bringing Christ to others because it brings Christ to me. - Eric Brochtrup

... a joyous celebration (of) the birth of Jesus. He brought us peace and joy to our nation just like Mary who carried Jesus. She traveled far distances with him in her womb. - Michael Baudhuin

... a joyous celebration of new life and a new beginning. It's where the earth is still and at peace with each other. Little kids get a twinkle in their eye when they think of the presents and of Santa. But is Christmas really about that? No. It's about Jesus and all religions having peace. So have a peaceful Christmas and share it with family that is loved. - Carrie Nuebecker

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