It is finally here, Christmas, no more shopping (did not do any), no more parking wars (none of that either), no more falling for the latest gadgets out in stores; (wish list is still growing); no, not me—not this year anyway.
Instead, I have adopted a mellowed out attitude, and laid back style—now all I want for Christmas is to spend time with our granddaughters, the three little angels we are blessed with—two of them brand new additions this year alone; I could not ask for better presents. They are all healthy, happy and adored by their parents, aunts and uncles, and of course their grandparents; and since they are growing too rapidly from one week to the next, Grandma wants to see them all the time.
Christmas, the holiday season, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, whatever you call it—are celebrations for children; best celebrated as a family. That is how it was for me, when I was growing up. Our parents had more than a “village” at their disposal to take care of us; those were joyful times. Immediate and extended family members, nannies, friends and neighbors—especially neighbors were part of the circle of care.
Christmas traditions are what make the occasion special. In Panama, one of my favorite celebrations was “Noche Buena”; Christmas decorations were set-out the night before Christmas—not a moment sooner, and this included preparing elaborate, “Nativity sets” the bigger—the better.
Decorations were kept hidden from neighbors’ prying eyes, until midnight, when baby Jesus was born, signaling the official start of Christmas. The celebrations always began at home; every home went through the same ritual. We had our Christmas meal at home, then go out to visit neighbors, where we would eat some more; this would go on until the wee hours of the morning.
After all the night’s excitement, children would go to sleep (adults stayed up); when we woke up in the morning, we saw the gifts Santa left under the Christmas tree. Nativity sets and Santa co-existed in the same place; talk about conflicting messages, LOL! Funny thing is–we never gave it a second thought, it was Christmas, we had food and –there were presents for us, and that was the end of that!
Merry Christmas everyone and Feliz Navidad, Prospero Año y Felicidad! Whatever you
do… don’t be a Grinch this holiday season!
I want to wish you a Merry Christmas… From the bottom of my heart!