Once there was a boy who didn’t know the meaning of Christmas. He was very little, and still had not learned to speak properly, clearly, the way a bit more grown up children can speak.
The boy was all the time asking everybody, ‘What is the meaning of Christmas?’ He asked to a little girl more or less his age, and the girl answered ‘Christmas is the time when Santa Claus comes and leaves gifts for all children’.
But the boy, was not really convinced that Christmas were only a matter of buying or receiving gifts, because he knew, despite being so young a human being, that gifts were given also any other time of the year. So he went on asking.
He found a young man and asked, ‘What is the meaning of Christmas?’ The young man said, ‘Christmas is the time when people get together to have dinner and lunch, you know? really good food!’ But the little boy did not like the answer either, because he knew also that people got together to have lunch on many other occasions. So he went on asking.
He asked a woman he found while playing in the park, ‘What is the meaning of Christmas?’ The woman said, ‘Hmmm, loads of work cooking, and doing the washing up to get it all ready for the party’. But the little boy was not convinced either with this answer, because he knew there were people who worked very hard in any other time of the year. So he went on asking.
One afternoon while playing with his friends he asked a teenager, ‘What is the meaning of Christmas?’ The teenager said, ‘Christmas is the time of the year when people who don’t really care about each other pretend they do’. But the boy didn’t understand this answer, so he went on asking.
He found an old man while walking on the street and he asked, ‘What is the meaning of Christmas?’ And the old man answered ‘Christmas has many meanings, some see the gifts, some see the food, some see the parties, but I think Christmas is the time to remember the birth of a man who gave his life to save all of us, the birth of redemption’.
‘And what is redemption?’, the little boy asked.
‘Redemption, is a fight to forgive, forgiveness does not come alone, sometimes we have to fight to get things forgiven.’
‘And who is this man who fought for our forgiveness?’
‘Oh, this man is called Jesus, he was a really good man’.
‘And why did he give his life?’
‘Because he was not understood then’.
‘Thank you, sir, I think I know now what the meaning of Christmas is’.
This way, the boy learned the meaning of Christmas, and the name of Jesus, that man everybody had forgotten to talk about when he asked for the meaning of Christmas, until he finally asked the old man.