I wanted to talk about “why I hated Christmas”, but, after reading the New Zealand Catholic, decided no, and continue my quest of retaining powers of positive thinking.
Why have I hated Christmas in the past? It’s personal, traditional and universal. While most of us are in a celebratory frame of mind, or hopeful, there are millions around the globe who are in extreme difficulties and very worried.
We don’t notice loneliness far and away, or in our midst. We don’t share the joys of Christ’s birth with those who have no-one to share it with. Even when surrounded with kindness, they cannot open the door to their hearts at this time of year.
Many people are unable to celebrate Christmas in ways that we take for granted. They have nothing which can sustain them. Homeless or cast out, they are inflicted with physical suffering and vices which stem from disagreements with their surroundings, or an overwhelming inability to adjust to the popular ways of doing things, humanly or humanely.
Poverty-stricken, many cannot provide their children with material gifts. It makes the provision of Love more difficult.
On Christmas Day, Pope Francis reminded us of what this harsh world has come to. He placed emphasis on its children, particularly those who are imprisoned, tortured or killed through acts of war borne out of jealousy, greed and hatred. He compared the suffering of children in the Middle East to Jesus’ own flight into Egypt.
He phoned Christian refugees gathered for Mass in a camp in Ainkawa, Iraq;
“You are like Jesus on Christmas night,” he told them. “There was no room for him either, and he had to flee to Egypt later to save himself. You are like Jesus in this situation, and that makes me pray even more for you,” he said. “Dear brothers and sisters, I am close to you, very close this evening. With all my heart, I am near you, and I ask Jesus to caress you with his tenderness and I ask his mother to give you much love.”
There are always highlights during my Christmas celebrations. I greeted two nieces and one nephew while they were tucking into their goodies; “Happy Christmas! Happy Birthday Jesus!”
At the mention of His name, my Godchild nodded her head sagely as though she had already come to understand the true meaning of Christmas. At such a tender time.