The more things change, the more they remain the same at Christmas
Times change and with that, some aspects of the manner in which we celebrate Christmas have evolved. Improved standards of living, widespread access to information communication technology and social and broadcast media have resulted in more secularism and increased consumerism.
Our Christmas festivities have also taken on much more of a Caribbean flavour than in days of yore, thanks to the production and widespread distribution of Caribbean Christmas music and the revitalization and packaging of our Nine Mornings festival.
But no matter how cosmopolitan, affluent or tech savvy we become, there are basic elements of our Christmas celebration that are so deeply rooted that they will never be erased from our culture.
Vincentians are house proud people and Christmas is the time when we strip our houses bare, then put them together again, more beautiful than before. This season tends to bring out a spirit of generosity, even in those whose personal situations are quite challenging. There is no older or more joyous Christmas tradition than that of giving, a tradition that dates back to the three wise men from the East.
And at Christmas, it seems as if it is easier to reach out to people we do not know, than to show compassion to those close to us. What about our co-worker or the child who lives next door? Even in our own families, there are those who could benefit from a little extra attention or a listening ear, especially at this time of the year when the sting of loneliness is particularly acute.
If we stop for a while and consider the humble manner in which Jesus came into the world, it would dawn on us that the shopping, cleaning, cooking and merriment is really not what Christmas is about. Presents and feasting on Christmas Day are fine but their pleasure is fleeting. What we all really want is to love and know that we are loved. Let us open our hearts and homes to someone in need this Christmas.
And even amidst our giving and outreach, we must make time for introspection and reflection on how we can work towards making our own lives and our world better in the New Year.
Season’s Greetings to all from the Chairman, Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Interactive Media Limited, publishers of Searchlight Weekend and Midweek.