I’m blessed to have a few very clear memories of Christmas as a child. Every louver was painstakingly cleaned only to be hid with ornate drapes so heavy, it made the house dark. But it was cozy and awesome. There were glittering decorations and poinsettias in every corner, the furniture shone with cheap polish, the kitchen thick with the smell of bread and ham. I loved the Christmas that was presented to me.
When I started to earn my own money and more importantly seek knowledge, I never went out of my way to follow the traditions. And I especially never went out of my way when I came to gift giving. Call it selfishness, lack of interest or protest – all but my mother was left wanting or pissed. I remember one day defending my position with my work colleagues and being grossly outnumbered - and scarred :s I just don’t see the point of all the hustle and bustle. Getting gifts is great but that particular part of the season just isn’t important enough to me to warrant all the expense. And I really don’t like being forced to spend the time in a way that’s not necessary. I am very certain that Christ doesn’t mind that I don’t have a tree.
One year I might be Santa, the other I might be Scrooge, basically I don’t have any rules for celebrating the season. But even with my dislike for the excess, and the wish that Christ was more recognised, I try to keep myself very open. I never go out of my way to belittle anyone for not recognising the meaning of Christmas, be it the birth of Christ or the very immoral beginnings of the traditions we commemorate today.
I will not take the fanatic’s approach and say that Christmas is all about spending and eating. There is so much love and energy in the air and this year I find myself very aware of that love and energy. Here in Trinidad there is music, food and tradition that is so distinct I actually think we should promote our Christmas as an event for tourists.
I’m saying all this to say – wait – what am I saying?
Right! I’m saying all this to say that I celebrate all the beauty and purity that there is in Christmas. And if you do too – cheers and merry, merry Christmas!