Popular cultural defines the tastes, preferences, customs, ceremonies, and behaviors embraced by members of society. Though many people hold a perspective that popular culture is defined by effects brought about by mass media such as televisions, newspapers, and videos, it should be understood that popular culture is beliefs founded on perceptions of conventional persons rather than the learned elites (Nachbar & Lausé, 1992). A significant trait of a widespread cultural is that it is practiced by a group of heterogeneous individuals who expand across the world and clinch the practice of divine intervention. In many cases, popular culture serves as a unifying factor in a community because it brings members of different ethical backgrounds together as they perform a particular activity or ceremony. In the present world, an excellent example of a popular cultural artifact practiced by Christians is Christmas celebration. From the perspective of many Christians, Christmas celebration is not only a natural activity but is supported by the biblical stand. Raising questions regarding Christmas celebration assumes the same nature as questioning biblical teachings a move that might create problems among Christians
Popular culture artifacts play vital roles among the members of society who practice. Among the roles played by popular culture artifacts in a communal setting include naturalizing thoughts of community members, strengthening beliefs held by community members and supporting actions partaken by members of a community. Christmas celebrations are marked on 25th December and 7th January for Orthodox Christmas. During the festivities, Christians come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus who they believe was the son of God and sent to liberate Christians from their sins (Heinz, 2010). The celebrations are marked by celebrating the life of Jesus, His parents and roles He played in delivering human beings from their inborn sins. Though Christmas celebrations mark the birth of Jesus, it also symbolizes a full significance of truth of the spiritual life led by human beings. Following that Jesus was born at a time when ignorance, greed and superstition and hypocrisy was almost taking over the world, celebrating the life of Jesus natures Christians hope in that it assures them of eternal life after suffering on earth.
Christian’s belief that Jesus was God sent a son. Through celebrating His birth, Christian’s thoughts are natured in that it exposes the nature of God as one who never neglects his servants. Following that the significant reason that God sent his son Jesus on earth was to wash away eternal sin committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the ceremony nurtures Christian’s faith through enhancing the ideology that God does not neglect his creations (Heinz, 2010). The belief that God is a caring God is also nourished during Christmas celebrations. Upon casting a curse on human beings in the garden of Eden, human beings lived with the eternal curse and sin which to some extent prevented them from God’s salvation. Through giving his only son to deliver human beings from their inborn sin, Christian’s ideology that is children of God takes a deeper meaning. It is an expectation that Christians lead a humble life. Though celebrating the birth of Christ, christens are subjected to teaching regarding how the actual birth of Christ took place. For instance, it is during the celebrations that Christians are reminded that Mary after giving birth to Jesus, was placed him in a manger. Despite being the Son of God, Jesus was laid in a manger a clear indication that Christians should not exhort themselves.
Regardless of the definition given to Christmas as a religious holiday, it marks how Christians identify themselves as believers and followers of Jesus who offered his life for sins he never committed with the aim of freeing the Christians. In addition to naturalizing Christian thoughts, Christmas ceremony also acclimates beliefs held by Christians. It is an expectation that Christians should lead a life of sharing and helping others (Shields, 2011). Upon giving birth to Jesus, Mary was presented with different kind of gifts. During Christmas ceremony, Christians share their gift with the needy in the community a fact that nurtures a sharing belief as expected from Christians. It accepted in many parts of the world that Christianity played a vital role in promoting civilization. Through celebrating the birth of Jesus, Christians get exposed to a better understanding of how Christianity was founded and its significance in supporting life led by Christmas.
Christmas ceremony impacts Christian’s lives reveal that as a popular cultural artifact, Christmas ceremony holds a level of significance in naturalizing thoughts, beliefs, and actions withheld by Christians. As noted in the latter sections of the essay, Christmas ceremony presents the most noticeable popular culture artifacts embraced by Christians. Through celebrating the birth of Jesus, Christians do not only enrich their faith but are brought together as one community. Through bringing Christians together, it can be argued that beliefs held by Christians regarding their faith are disseminated among the community members significantly. For instance, during Christmas celebrations, Christians display a tendency of visiting the disadvantaged community members. Embracing such a move nurtures beliefs held by Christians regarding the right behavior and moral conduct in a community setting (Shields, 2011). Together with serving the role of nurturing beliefs withheld by Christians, celebrating Christmas ceremony plays a vital role in defining values and ethical morals standards expected from a Christian. A good example illustrating the ideology described in the latter sentence is presented by symbolic items used during Christmas celebration.
Christmas is a joyful season where the joy that surrounds the festivities might affect the actions of different individuals thus influencing their chemicals in their brains that have an impact on their levels of happiness. Dopamine is famous for its connection with activities that are driven by rewards and serotine which is a pleasure-seeking hormone that boosts the feelings of belonging and worthiness (Northrup, 2015). Therefore, when various individuals talk about the “Christmas cheer,” they might be on to a specific thing. The Christmas spirit is famously known for spreading impulses to the human brain. The Christmas spirit triggers the motor cortex, primary motor cortex, and the promotor. Formerly, these areas in the brain have been connected to body senses, spirituality and the recognition of emotions running on the face. Whereas these results might not be interpreted with a certain degree of caution, it gets interesting to identify the physical consequences that the feeling of a happy moment can arouse on the brain.
Not every individual finds Christmas a festive season that is exceptionally joyful because some of them find it quite stressful. The liability of going through a shopping center that is busy to get a gift that is ideal for your better half, or that of cooking a perfect turkey for a place that is full of hungry individuals and s adequate of rattling even an individual who is calm. Stress is a phenomenon that can create a response that is physical in the body of human beings, with the involuntary discharge of cortisol and adrenaline. Additionally, cortisol indicates that it has a thoughtful consequence on the hippocampus which is responsible for reducing the ability and memory to conduct different tasks.
Christmas is also connected to the act of giving and receiving of gifts which are regarded as one of the most ancient traditions (Jasper & Cuming, 2018). The best feeling ever is to see the eyes of the people that one loves lighting up when one gives them the perfect Christmas present. Generosity is connected to the brain’s reward circuitry system, thus leading to the release of endorphins and dopamine. According to researchers, there is a helpers’ high circumstance which is attained one gives. The chemicals that are responsible for causing this high can assist in the reduction of stress levels and also boost the will to redo these acts of kindness. Therefore, while one might resent getting something from their pockets after purchasing Christmas presents for family and friends, the brain at least makes sure that one gets compensated with chemical incentives.
Christmas is a popular culture that promotes the action of bonding with friends and family (Schiermer & Carlsen, 2017). The quintessential experience of Christmas includes the behavior of sitting down around a table with the people that you love. It becomes difficult to imagine that there would be a festive season without the presence of friends and family. The natural bind that is present between an individual and those who are special in his life can end up in the production of a hormone that is known as oxytocin in the human brain. Oxytocin, which at times is referred to as the “cuddle hormone” is responsible for driving maternal actions, social attachment and trust. As such, the hormone might assist an individual in explaining the fuzzy, warm feeling that one gets during Christmas whenever the people surround them that they trust and love. Overindulging is another action that is prevalent and is connected to the Christmas period. People usually indulge in their favorite drinks and food which they regard as a part of their Christmas experience. However, overeating during the Christmas festivities can have detrimental effects on the body. It has been proved that overeating is responsible for the activation of pathways which connect the hypothalamus to the human brain. As a result, an individual can suffer from low-grade inflammation and low response which can be used to explain why one can feel sick after they have overeaten food.
Jasper, R. C. D., & Cuming, G. J. (2018). Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and reformed. Liturgical Press.
Nachbar, J. G., & Lausé, K. (1992). Popular culture: An introductory text. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press.
Northrup, C. (2015). Goddesses Never Age. Hay House, Inc.
Heinz, D. (2010). Christmas: Festival of incarnation. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress.
Schiermer, B., & Carlsen, H. B. (2017). Nostalgia, irony and collectivity in late-modern culture: The ritual watching of The Disney Christmas Show in Scandinavia. Acta Sociologica, 60(2), 158-175.
Shields, W. S. (2011). The farewell Christmas. Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing.