Merry Christmas from our students!
The Council of Catholic School Cooperative Clubs sponsors the annual Keep Christ in Christmas poster, essay and poetry contest. The Office of Catholic Schools selected winners in three divisions: grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. The contest is promoted by the Christ in Christmas Committee, which coordinates the placement of “Keep Christ in Christmas” billboards throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Go to www.keepchristinchristmasnola.org.
Photos by Frank J. Methe | CLARION HERALD
Henry Arbana, St. Rita School, Harahan
Henry, above, explains his drawing: “I did this drawing because everybody loves presents at Christmas time, and one way to keep Christ in Christmas is by putting him inside one of the presents. The Christmas tree is for decoration. The crosses are for when Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate. The gift tag that says, ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ has ‘To:’ and ‘From:’ on it, like it’s a gift. Jesus is like the present for somebody.”
Sophia Maumus, St. Angela Merici, Metairie
Sophia explains her drawing: “A wreath represents family, and it also represents Christmas. I put Jesus and Mary in the middle – because they are a family. That is like keeping Christ in Christmas. It’s literal, but it’s also symbolic. I just basically drew it from my head. I’ve been drawing since I was little. My mom taught me how to draw even better, so I picked up on that talent.
Mount Carmel Academy, New Orleans
Sydney explains her drawing: “We were given this assignment and, usually, everyone is like, ‘Ugh, we have to do this.’ This is my last year, so I wanted to do my best. I tried to think of something original. I thought of a trash can and Jesus. The idea is that, sometimes, Jesus kind of gets thrown away, metaphorically, in favor of some cool stuff.”
ST. CHRISTOPHER SCHOOL, METAIRIE
Attend Christmas Mass as a family
Keeping Christ in Christmas should be the focus of every Christian during the Christmas season. However, over the years, many people have put focus on buying stuff for themselves. This has made it difficult to keep Christians focused.
There are many ways to keep Christ in Christmas and, as Christians, we should focus on doing just that this Christmas season.
One way to keep Christ in Christmas is to give God one special gift from you to him. It can be as simple as telling someone you are sorry or even forgiving someone who has hurt you.
Another way to keep Christ in Christmas is to set up a Nativity scene in your home. The whole family can participate in the set up. Many Christians display Nativity scenes when putting up their Christmas decorations. After setting up the Nativity scene, your family can take a few minutes to pray and discuss the meaning of Christmas. The most important thing would be to discuss the birth of Jesus, our savior.
One way my family keeps Christ in Christmas is that we attend Midnight Mass together. We set aside time every year, and all of our family comes together on this special night in prayer. In the past, we have chosen different churches to attend.
Attending Christmas Mass holds a special meaning for my family. It is a time where we gather and remember truly why we celebrate Christmas and wrap our life around God.
Keeping Christ in Christmas is a faithful reminder of the birth of Jesus, whose love is in each one of us.
ST. DOMINIC SCHOOL, NEW ORLEANS
True Christmas cheer
Christmas, what is Christmas?
Presents, toys and games?
Jesus, who is Jesus?
The Son of God who came!
Christmas isn’t just the presents we receive
Christmas is when God sent Jesus to help us to believe.
It started long ago when Mary gave her “yes.”
Without her courage and her faith, we would not be blessed.
Jesus was born on that holy night.
The star of Bethlehem shone so bright.
He came to show us how to live,
how to love and how to give.
This is why we celebrate Christmas, each and every year.
When we remember our Savior, Jesus, then we will have TRUE Christmas cheer.
ABP. CHAPELLE HIGH SCHOOL, METAIRIE
Jesus is our true gift, our savior
This year for Christmas I ask that we, as a community, keep the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts. As a whole, we become too caught up in the presents, food, decorations and debates of whether or not Santa Claus is real, and we forget the actual meaning behind Christmas and what we should really be celebrating.
Christmas is an annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth on December 25. Christ is the son of God. Jesus was, in fact, God in flesh. Christmas should be a time focused on the redemption and reconciliation of man to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
We need to come to an understanding that the gifts we receive are temporary, but the God we worship is infinite. We need to teach our people that God loves each and every one of us so much that he forgives us of every sin, no matter what, because he knows that we aren’t perfect.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Children are brainwashed into thinking that they have to have gifts on Christmas regardless of financial stability. As a community, we should turn that around and teach children that God gave us a gift that they cannot earn or merit by being “naughty or nice.”
As the Bible states: “It is the gift of eternal life, through choosing to accept God’s gift of grace” (Ephesians 2:8-9). We have all sinned and deserve God’s judgment. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, “Jesus is Lord,” you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.
That’s the real reason you should keep Christ in Christmas.
ST. PHILIP NERI SCHOOL, METAIRIE
See Jesus in the homeless
When looking at a present,
When looking at the tree,
Remember your sin.
When looking at your bed,
Remember the cradle.
When looking at your house,
Remember the stable.
When talking to friends,
Remember the wise men.
When admiring the sky,
Remember the guiding star.
When you receive games,
Remember the frankincense.
When you receive money,
Remember the gold.
When you receive treats,
Remember the myrrh.
When you see a homeless man,
See Jesus in him.
When you see a lame person,
Think of God’s spirit in him.
When you eat dinner,
Remember the hunger.
When you share a toast,
Remember the thirst.
When you travel comfortably,
Remember the sands they walked.
When you arrive safely,
Remember the water they crossed.
When you are bored,
Remember the journey to Bethlehem.
When you are lonely,
Remember God, your friend.
When you feel warmth,
Remember they were cold.
When you feel cozy,
Remember they were sore.
When you think of Christmas,
Think of Jesus not Santa.
When you celebrate the season,
Remember the reason.
Always keep Christ in Christmas.
CABRINI HIGH SCHOOL, NEW ORLEANS
He came out of love to save us all
The night was clear,
The star, it was bright;
On Earth, filled with greed,
It shed healing light.
Marking the birthplace
Of a king to be,
Whose coming would make men ask,
Just “Who is he?”
The plan of His Father
He would always obey,
Though it meant a short time
On Earth He would stay.
He came out of love
To save us all,
Teaching us to listen
Always to God’s call.
So remember the importance
Of each Christmas Day –
Not toys, but loving each other
Is what Jesus would say.
Mary Frances Crochet
HOLY ROSARY HIGH SCHOOL, NEW ORLEANS
Happy Birthday, Jesus!
People celebrating Christmas too early makes me crazy. Honestly, this probably makes me crazy because it makes my mother and grandmother crazy.
When Christmas is supposed to start, people act like Christmas is over. Do they know that the Christmas season actually starts with the vigil Mass on Christmas Eve and should be celebrated until the second Sunday after the Epiphany?
When everyone stops playing Christmas music and starts taking down their decorations on Dec. 26, they really do not understand Christmas. That said, I absolutely love getting into the full Christmas spirit. I want our tree up early, decorations outside, Magic 101.9 blaring and matching Christmas pajamas.
I also look forward to parties, great food and my entire family coming to my grandma’s house.
Christmas really is a special time of the year. So why do people not focus on celebrating the true meaning of Christmas?
It is Jesus’ birthday. Do we ever forget to celebrate a family member’s or a friend’s birthday? The answer is no. So let us not forget Jesus’ special day, either.
Everyone should make an extra effort to celebrate Christmas from the beginning until the very end. We already do this when we dance with a second line at the end of a wedding.
We can start by leaving the tree and the Nativity up. We should also keep saying “Merry Christmas” and listening to Christmas music.
Sharing gifts is fine, but we should also demonstrate charity and kindness.
Happy Birthday, Jesus!