Sunday, December 9, 2012
Quote of the Day: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” ― Charles Dickens
Night and day is the difference between Christmas here and Christmas there. Here, we have no commercialization, no Santa Claus, no Christmas trees, no gift purchasing, no gift exchanging, no gift giving, no Christmas music, no decorations public or private, no colored lights, no parties, no special drinks, no special food, nothing put on credit cards, no Christmas cards (and no one upset because they didn't get one). We have no Christmas eve services, no pageants, no plays, no public nativity scenes, and no charities using Christmas to raise money. Since what television we get comes from South Africa where it is just now summer, we do get ads for summer sales, bathing suits, beach outfits, etc. Christmas is different here. Here we have church services the day before, the day of, and the day after. We do decorate the churches and some have nativity scenes. What we do have that seems the same is an emphasis on families being together. No Christmas turkey, but you can't buy a chicken for two weeks after (no eggs either). It is nice to have a holiday that focuses on family but only about 40% of the families here are Christian. About 20% are Muslim with the remaining 40% native tribal religions, so only Christians have this holiday, but the government does set two days aside as a public holiday. I like this approach to Christmas, and I used to get angry about all that other stuff, but I miss all that other stuff. We do have a small tree (about 12 inches) and an even smaller nativity scene, but that is the extent of our decorations. We still manage to send gifts back to the U.S. and receive some here but because of the iffy nature of our post service, they may not arrive until February. What we both share is that you remember and we remember that it is Christ's birth that we celebrate, and we all pray for Peace on Earth.