December arrives and there is an imperceptible change of gear. Everything that constitutes regular routine is put on the back burner. It is ever more obvious this side of the world as the days really shorten and the weather makes you want to slow down and rest. But on the southern hemisphere something happens too.
It isn’t influenced by weather, muddy walks on pine-filled forests and the hollies coming to fruition. So, then.. What is it about Christmas?
South American countries are very catholic and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ is one of the most sacred of all family traditions. Most religious households build a miniature nativity scene under or near the Christmas tree with the holy baby as a massive center piece. It is normally 15 times bigger than the tiny animals and shepherds that surround him. The figure in itself is a family treasure to pass on from generation to generation (hence the disparity in size).
We all love celebrating Christmas and we prepare well in advance. We cook a special dinner on Christmas Eve and children are allowed to stay up well past midnight. Like everything, it is never entirely free of controversy. We have, for example, a black Jesus, the holy child from Cuzco -we call it black, but it can be many shades of brown-, and this holy child is always a reminder of how our traditions are the result of a mixture of cultures, some of which were enslaved in the past. This doesn’t bring people down, or make the magic disappear; it is just a fact of our past and an explanation of how our present is shaped. And life goes on.
I guess my point is, Christmas is both a joyous time and a time for reflection, and therefore a bit of sadness can creep in. The feeling of thankfulness mixed with the awareness of the world surrounding us makes for a beautiful expression of our human experience. Hope, faith, love, empathy, joy, spiritual warmth.. What is not to love..
I wish for this Christmas and the coming year to be as joyful as it possibly can, for all of us.
May it bring more peace and harmony into our lives and that of those around us.
That which is important in life knows how to hold your hand. Makes you feel warm without trying. Family, that’s what Christmas stands for. Companionship. Sharing. Caring.
I will take my chances with the goblins of the internet copyright and add a link to my favourite x-mas song, it is by Tim Minchin, an Australian comedian, singer and songwriter. His Christmas sounds a lot like what my heart yearns for around Christmas.. Hope you enjoy it too! xx M.