Traditionally, Christmas is a festive time of celebration and jubilation shared among family members and friends. It’s a time when we get together and share in the special moments as we bond, reflect on the closing year, and hope for the New Year. Whether we celebrate the birth of Christ or we celebrate for another reason, generally, Christmas is deemed to be the most wonderful time of the year.
In every corner and every nook, each home and every family has their traditions and rituals that are inherent to their routine at Christmastime. Be it turkey or ham, relleno negro or roast pork, black fruit cake or pumpkin pie, what’s most important is the getting together of a people. The warmth of Christmas doesn’t come from the oven-baking, but from families and loved ones sitting around in kindred spirits, sharing old memories, reminiscent of love.
However, with all that we are currently facing and this sheer rollercoaster ride that 2020 has been, this Christmas will be much different. Thanks to the culprit COVID-19, which in a sense is metaphorically synonymous to the Grinch, Christmas has been stolen this year! Or has it really?
The truth of the matter is that this Christmas will be different, but will arguably return us to the basics. Actually, quite frankly, COVID-19 hasn’t stolen Christmas or interrupted it. It has given us a salient mandate to go back to the basics. To revisit the days of old when Christmas was a small and sacred celebration between close and immediate families who utilized what they had to make the days merry and bright.
This Christmas will force us to safely reach across our fences and holler out to a neighbor and share a plate of food and a slice of cake with the less fortunate. This Christmas will reduce the unnecessary spending that we so vainly indulge in and mandate us to realign our priorities and reshape our focus on that which really matters: the “who” is around the tree, and not necessarily “what” is under the tree.
This Christmas will cause us to pause and reflect on the very reason that we celebrate. Too often in years gone by, we got overly consumed in the commercialization and the merchandising of the season and placed great importance on spending and shopping. However, given the times, we are forced to revisit the just reason why we celebrate in the first place, the true reason for the season, which is the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord, who came to bring hope and light to the world.
This Christmas will offer us a greater appreciation for our loved ones: family and friends. This year has seen a monumental amount of lives lost, and many families are left weeping and mourning, dejected and in sorrow as they mourn the lives of the ones they loved and lost and pray for those who are still very ill. If nothing else, this Christmas should see us develop a greater appreciation for families and friends and come to know and understand the value of life, which is the rudimentary basis of all things.
Therefore, as we endeavor to celebrate “this Christmas”, let us seek to pause and reflect about all those who are still suffering socially, economically and health-wise as a result of this virus. Let us reflect on all the lives lost and whisper a prayer for all those who are sick and in mourning. Let us keep in mind and in our hearts the many unemployed, impoverished, dejected and lonely who will struggle through this day.
So, this Christmas, let us remember how very good we have it, and let us be so inspired that we want to look down and reach out to those less fortunate than us. Let us strive to offer hope and light, just as Jesus did for us with his birth.
Most importantly, let us show love, like really love, and offer hope and light to our fellow brothers and sisters who continue to struggle as we prepare our hearts to receive Jesus. May we know that aside from the gifts, all the food, the decor and the cheers, that (Jesus) is the only true reason for the season!
See, if we aren’t loving, sharing, offering hope and light to the world, then we would have failed to live up to the true merits of Christmas.
God Bless Belize!