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The Real Christmas

Young people talk about what Christmas really means to them

.... and they're accompanied by carols.

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with Theodora      
Carol - O Holy Night

8) Theodora, who's 4 & from London: "Christmas is a lovely time because Baby Jesus was born, not because you get presents, because Baby Jesus was born in a stable. It took a really long time for Mary and Joseph to get to Bethlehem. They knocked on every door; it was all full. When they got to the last door of Bethlehem, they said there was no room but then saw how tired Mary and Joseph looked and said 'Well, there's a stable. It's not much but at least you will be able to have your baby.' The three shepherds came and saw Mary and Joseph, and three wise kings. Everyone was very happy."

with Joshua      
Carol - In the Bleak Midwinter

7) Joshua, who's 20 & from the Singapore: "Christmas is a time of giving and gratitude to me. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the materialism of it, buying enough, trying to chase after the deals. But most important of all, Christmas is about hope. And sometimes when I think of how our Saviour was born into the world, I would like him to be born into our hearts and that he would give us hope, hope that there's a new world is awaiting with him."

with Martha      
Carol - Away in a Manger

6) Martha, who's 19 & from the UK: "For me Christmas is a time to spend with my family but spiritually it means a lot more: that Christmas is the time that my Saviour was born. And without Christmas, I wouldn't have Jesus and I wouldn't be who I am today, because I am where I am because of him. So Christmas is time for new beginnings for me, it is basically the beginning of my faith."

with Maria, Mark & Matt      
Carol - Gaudate

5) Maria, who's 23 & from the UK:"For me the meaning of Christmas is all about giving: it's about giving yourself to your family over Christmas and your friends, spending time; it's about giving your prayers to those in need; it's about giving yourself some time to appreciate the Christmas message and to try and understand it deeper each year; and it's about recognising the vulnerability of how Jesus was born in these base conditions, and how it's universal for all of us that he has been given to each person."

Mark, who's 19 & from England: "The midnight Mass is the main focus for me - it's the silence, the peace of it, and the carol singing - it brings families together during Christmas and people who wouldn't normally go to Church, come back to Church and hopefully find something extra special during the Feast of Christmas."

Matt, who's 26 & from England : "I'm a convert and 3 years ago Christmas meant something very different to me. Christmas meant gifts, it meant taking annual leave and leaving work early .. Christmas now is about making time .. to think about what Christmas means in terms of the birth of Christ, what God, Jesus, really came into our lives for, which is really mind-blowing."

with Becca, Agnieszka & Cody       
Carol - In the Bleak Midwinter

4) Becca, who's 18 & from the England:"To me Christmas is about hope. It's about the hope that we have in Jesus because obviously Jesus was born at Christmas. Even though Christmas these days is like really secularised I still think we see some of that hope at Christmas time, because at Christmas everyone wants to give and be really nice to each other and you see people like sending off shoe boxes with presents in and homeless shelters like having Christmas things, and I think the hope we have when Jesus was born, there is still that hope at Christmas time."

Agnieszka, who's 24 & from Poland: "For me Christmas is not only buying presents and eating good food but it is simply joy, joy, that Christ has come to earth to set us free and to give us life."

Cody, who's 23 & from the United States of America: "To me Christmas is about receiving the love of God. It's just like the day that the world got the most precious gift ever really, which was God-with-us, and so it's about celebrating that love, celebrating His love for us, and as Christians sharing that love with the world."

with Andy, Father Paul & Howard      
Carol - Silent Night

3) Andy, from the UK:"For me, Christmas is the Eucharist. At the Annunciation, God becomes man, the Word becomes flesh and at Christmas, to me it's exposition - the Lord, as happens every time there's Mass, is exposed and shown to the world. And it's just an amazing thing, that God, even though we're all in all our sins, willed in mercy that we didn't deserve, to come down and be with us, to forgive us and give us the grace we need to go back to Him. And all we need to do is to avoid wrong and to do what is right and to trust in Him."

Father Paul, from Cameroon: "Christmas to me is the time of good news, we celebrate the good news. To prepare for Christmas, what I do is I try to look at the life of Christ and see how he was good news to the people he came to save. So that helps me to prepare for Christmas well - it's the good news .. that is Christ."

Howard, from the Philippines: "Christmas for me is about celebration and the reason why we celebrate is because God became man for all of us .. During Christmas we celebrate love, faith and hope - it's because God is all about faith and hope and love."

Carol - Venite Adoremus, Dominum       

2) A medley of young people:
"Christmas to me is about love - giving unconditional love to each other … A real Christmas to me is like a family gathering, a journey of a new beginning … Christmas for me is a time of joy and loving and just sharing the cheer .. Christmas for me is allowing Jesus to be the Lord and Saviour of my life .. It's not just about receiving presents, it's about giving joy and happiness .. Christmas to me is like another world, another like peace world, where people don't like do bad good, just do good and help the others .. Christmas to me is when you give yourself a special time to celebrate the things that Jesus has done for us .. It's celebrating Jesus beginning his journey into our lives."

with Sarah, Robert, Rhona & Paul      
Carol - O Little Town of Bethlehem

1) Sarah, from England: "Maybe sometimes when you look up at the sky and you don't see any stars, it's more because there's so much artificial light around and that when you go out into the countryside and you look up and you see the sky and there's just loads of stars there because there's nothing getting in the way. And maybe Christmas is about realising what the true stars are, what the signs God wants us to see and getting rid of the artificial light that stops us seeing that."

Robert, 26 & from Uganda: "At Christmas we talk about Emmanuel, the birth of Emmanuel, which means God is with us, God is with you. So it shows me that God is going to be with me right from that time and it continues all the way through to the next Christmas."

Rhona, 21 & from the Philippines: "Christmas in the Philippines is the day that everyone is looking forward to ..For me Christmas is just giving yourself time to reflect on what Jesus means to us."

Paul, 25 & from New Zealand: "Christmas for me is to reflect on how God entered this world, but came to this earth in such a fragile way, but allowed us to look after him. I think in turn celebrating that love of being so weak, allowing Himself to be at our level instead of someone so high up that we can't reach."