Friday, December 25, 2009

Of December, Birthdays, Christmas and the politics of presents...

I love December. It's my favourite month because of my relationship with Christmas. You see, I was born in the month of December and I thought sharing the same birthday month with Jesus and Ms. Cooke (my former Headmistress whom I adore and respect) is great!
My parents hardly celebrate birthdays. My pa never had his birthday celebrated, not even until the day he died. My sisters and I did a birthday bash for mom on her 60th. birthday and that was it. So, when we were young, we witnessed other kids celebrating their birthdays in grandeur while ours remained just another ordinary day. Yet we made no fuss about it. And personally, December remains as my favourite month because it's also school holidays. Less traffic jam!

I love Christmas - I love the colorful, blinking lights, the pretty ornaments that decorate a X'mas tree, Santa and his reindeer poised for flight from some rooftop.

I enjoy singing Christmas carols and listening repeatedly to the nativity of Christ, for it has a place in history.

I revel in the spirit of gift giving - a symbol of joyful celebration of birth and hope.

I am warmed by the traditions that surround the season - giving and receiving presents at the same time.

BUT the things that give me pleasure cause me great tension too. For whom will I get presents? What gifts should I buy? If I give someone a present and they don't have one for me, what does that mean? What if someone has a present for me and I don't have one for her? How does that feel?

Oh, the politics of presents!

I loathe how commercialized Christmas has become as I fall prey to some fashionable items too. As the years drift by, Christmas has lost its religion appeal (not that I am so religious). Still experiencing the economic gloom, I feel there's fear among those who struggle to find the extra cash to shop for gifts.

I am sad to find the meaning of Christmas now buried in the barrels of bath accessories, bottles of perfumes and the spread of food at the buffet table. As the year is coming to an end, perhaps it's time to reflect and contemplate. To spare some thoughts to those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Some children who may be still looking for a pair of shoes to wear. Some poor souls who had gone without food for days. Or someone who is mourning for the loss of a dear one.

So this season - instead of worrying about what gifts to give, where to have Christmas lunch or dinner or what to wear, may we just give thanks for the simple things in life that we are blessed with...good health, family, friends and holidays!

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