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'O Night Divine': Why Christmas Getting is Just as Important as Giving - by Nikolai Brelinski

‘O Night Divine’: Why Christmas Getting is Just as Important as Giving

nikolai brelinksi

Nikolai Brelinsky, 3rd Place Winner in the 2014 Christmas Essay Contest

Nikolai Brelinsky is a high school senior who lives in North Carolina. He is the second of eight children. He is interested in art, especially illustration and writing. Although he is often busy with studying, Civil Air Patrol, and a job at a local restaurant, he enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction in his spare time. He is a valued member of SWC, an internet community for Seton writers. He hopes to attend the 2015 graduation.

Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining.
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.

The words echoed through the church, which for the night had become a concert hall. Amidst the magnificent sounds of the musicians, the brilliant decorations, and the atmosphere of blissful people, I stopped to think to myself. What a beautiful thing was Christmas.

Despite the cold, the heating bills, and the worry of having to get gifts, all you could feel in the air was love. I’m not talking about the artificial “joy of the season” marketed by the media. It was more than even the feeling of cheer, there was something deeper here. No, this was Christian love.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Until He appeared and the soul felt its worth

How many times do we hear the holiday-time cliché “Christmas isn’t about getting, it’s about giving.”? That’s all well and good, but it’s not completely true. Getting is important.

The gifts and presents from loved ones and Saint Nicholas are nice, but Christmas is about something else.

What was born two-thousand and fifteen years ago in a manger? A holiday? A little baby doll to lay in a homemade creche and look adorable? How about the hope of all mankind?

For thousands of years, the earth turned. Man was born in sin. He lived in sin. He died in sin. Until that night, that holy night, when Christ was born. No matter how many gifts we give, no matter how pretty the wrapping paper, we can’t give something more important that what we’ve been given. Mercy. Forgiveness. Hope.

Oh night, divine,
Oh night that Christ was born

When I left the church that night, wishing friends “Merry Christmas”, I felt that Christmas love in the air. It was more than good feelings. It was more than the joy of giving gifts.

It was the feeling of worth. That our feeble earthly lives are important enough for God to send His Son to become man. And though we can remember that any day of the year, the feast of Christ’s birth is its own special time.

As I looked up at the sky on Christmas Eve, the stars in the sky shined brightly down on me.

Christmas Background Image © Konstiantyn / Dollar Photo Club

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