Christmas started early this year. We read the story of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, many times. We played with two nativity playsets. We decorated a few trees. Tronk dressed up as an angel and met Santa. We sang Christmas carols. We filled our senses with red cheeks, panettone, golden decorations... hot chocolate.
I have never seen Tronk so shy as when he met Santa. It was like he was meeting a rock star.
We even talked about how nice the Christmas decorations look this year here in East Arlington.
So what's missing? What is it that we haven't done yet? It's Christmas people, let the cheer begin. Point taken but what is this cheer all about?
I thought Tronk was getting more excited every day about the upcoming Christmas and La Befana (the Italian witch filling socks with sweets and gifts). Yet last week Tronk made this comment in the mall: "e' proprio orribile questo Natale!" (how horrible this Christmas!)" while this week he kept repeating this line, probably from a cartoon: "questo Natale e' rovinato! niente regali!" (this Christmas is ruined! no presents!) while he was beating his Santa plush toy against the couch. Instead of making him happy, Christmas is making him angry.
Come on, it's Christmas. At Christmas we should all be happier. Wait, should we?
After the initial surprise in hearing Tronk complaining, I realized that perhaps there is something to it. Christmas is not so special as we want it to be. In the Christmas season there is so little happiness around. We are all having to face shorter, darker and colder days, we take it in turn to get sick (see previous Christmas posting), we stress about finding the perfect gift for people, we are not kind to ourselves if we fail to bake the perfect cake (or cook the perfect dish), we struggle to celebrate the end of the year in style. To make things worse, we are hit by devastating news, followed by unanswered questions - (1) why there are still children in danger in the American schools? (2) why there are always people becoming angry and cursing others just before Christmas? (Italians on Facebook) (3) why there are so many more suicides during the Christmas season? (in the news) (4) Finally, why should we all be festive and share the cheer in this particular time of the year?
The other day I saw the message below written in my local coffee shop and I suddenly thought: here it is. Here is the answer to my question. Here is the answer to what Christmas is about. Come on, people, it's Christmas! Help others cheer up. Do something worthwhile and smile.
That's what it is all about. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.