“He’s the little boy, that Santa Claus forgot; and goodness knows, he didn’t want a lot …” – Nat King Cole
Monday, December 18, 2023
It’s that special time of year again, “when the world falls in love”, and greetings are everywhere, wishing friends and relatives a “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”; and what is beautiful, is that probably all of us really mean it. There is an infectious spirit in the air, no doubt aided by the intoxicating cascade of Christmas tunes flooding the airwaves on the radio and T.V. and wherever you go.
There is still a lot of love in Belize, and a lot to be thankful for as this year draws to a close. Looking back to where we were only a few short years ago when Covid had the nation and the world in its grip, we have come a long way indeed. And there is ample cause and justification for a celebration. A celebration of life, and our living conditions, which could be much better, but only a glance at the world around us, and the awful tribulation being unloaded upon people in dire circumstances, and we must realize that we don’t have it that bad after all.
For too many of us, there is a reminder of lost loved ones, who once shared this special time of year with us; and the memories stir our hearts and minds with a bout of sadness that only the greetings and embrace of loved ones can help to salve and stimulate the rekindling of the feeling of thankfulness and grace for the hope that springs from the new gift of life and love embodied in the Christmas story.
This is the season of giving and sharing, for helping out those whom we can, for it is the happiness of others that enhances all our lives with a feeling of grace and satisfaction, knowing that we did what we could to help. Just the thought of a little child who is all forlorn at Christmas (as in “the little boy that Santa Claus forgot”) should be enough to soften the heart of even the meanest grinch around this time of year.
Aside from the commercialization, the parades and the shows and the pretty lights at night are all part of the season and the trimmings to help ignite our hearts with the feeling of this special season of love and giving. There are groups and organizations countrywide putting together their own little Christmas parties and treats for needy children to help ensure that every child in the nation gets to enjoy the pleasure of some delicious food and drink as a part of the celebration. The Government has allocated special funds for its “Christmas Cheer”, and it is to be hoped that this means that every needy household will get to “see” their Belizean Krismos with ham and turkey this year. It is not too much to ask in a nation of so few people. The wealthy and the middle-income folks have their Christmas dinner covered; but it is the homes who struggle every day and can’t “see” the Christmas yet that need all our attention and assistance now, for the children. Whatever mistakes were made, or mishaps that may have befallen some parents, those of us who can should jump at the opportunity in this time and season to help fill that Salvation Army kettle, and to donate to whatever group or individual we can direct our assistance to. Many hands make the work light; let it be that in your neighborhood, you have the comfort of knowing that everybody is “aaright dis Krismos”.
Let’s share the love, Belize! Christmas is for the children. Let’s open our hearts and reach out to others who are having a difficult time. Don’t say “no” to any opportunity to give during this Christmas season, and help make this one a “good-old-days” memory in times to come for all of today’s children across Belize. We can do it; all of us who have a little extra can join in this effort to make this Christmas a merry one for Belizean children everywhere.
Unfortunately, in these busy modern days, communities are not as close-knit as in times past, and people tend to live apart with little knowledge of conditions inside households except in their immediate vicinity. Those who have all the inside story on living conditions in communities around every city, town and village, are the politicians. Their “street captains” know the condition of every street and house where voters reside. And hopefully, their “Christmas Cheer” from the national treasury will be fairly distributed to those who need it the most. Between the Christmas Cheer being distributed by the main political parties, and the other help from individual citizens to those who may have been overlooked by the red or blue “cheer givers”, every mouth can be fed this Christmas. And that exercise should open our eyes to what we need to do, as a nation and as individuals, in our New Year’s resolution to try and help to make things better in the New Year.
Sadly, there are some children, especially in war-torn regions of the world, but even here in our little Jewel, who may be counted among the ones whom “Santa Claus forgot”, and unfortunately, some may also be killed before Christmas. Parents in Belize would do well to encourage their children, when they share whatever food and refreshment they can afford at Christmas, to stop and say a prayer for those children who have nothing, not even their parents, or who have even lost their lives because of senseless wars and devious violence committed by adults.
But we still want our children to be happy; and the exercise of reflection on the less fortunate is also to impress upon them the blessing that they still have with life, and to remind them to be thankful for whatever their parents or loving elders have been able to provide for their Christmas.
Let the love flow, Belizeans and friends everywhere! It’s what Belizean Christmas is all about. “Good maanin, Miss Lady …” and “Brukdown Krismos” and all the merry, spiritual and sentimental Christmas songs only serve to rekindle and stimulate that special feeling of joy and love that swells in our hearts as we exchange greetings with one another at this time of year, by cards or phone calls or hugs and handshakes wherever we meet.
But our thoughts always come back to the children; and especially to that all-time memorable fairy-tale tune/story of the little drummer boy, whose gift to the baby Jesus in the manger was all that he had to give – the playing of his little drum: paa-rop-a-pom-pom. “I played my best for him – paa-rop-a-pom-pom – … and then He smiled at me …”
Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas, Belize!