For those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, however, it is the beginning of summer. School is over. It is a time for long holidays for rest and relaxation. For them Christmas marks not the shortest day of the year but the longest. We may think it strange to celebrate Christmas on the beach, but this great festival is so rich in symbolism that wherever it is celebrated there is always something new that can be grasped from the profound truths at the heart of the Christmas message.
Do we go away to celebrate? Then so did the Holy Family. Do we gather at home with our family? So did all the angels gather round the stable in Bethlehem and make it their home. Are there just two or three of us together (at the most)? So we know that wherever two or three are gathered together the Holy Family is with them.
Is Christmas lonely and painful because of those we have lost? There is still room for us in the stable if not in the inn. A festival of peace, of gifts, of light, of love, of hope, of warmth. It is very difficult to find a Christian theme which does not fit into the celebration of the birth of Christ. So let us rejoice, because Christmas fits in everywhere, with universal application. For the truth remains that God comes among us in the person of Christ, and our lives are for ever changed.