by María L. Trigos-Gilbert

It seems as if I’m “predestined” to live in an airplane (always traveling during the holidays). Last December I spent Christmas by myself in one of Florida’s airports. Of course, the idea was to travel to spend Christmas with my parents and siblings. Isn’t that ironic? That’s to say I got there after Christmas. Take note: Christmas in Venezuela is celebrated the 24th of December, instead of the 25th. Back to the point, my flights’ arrangements were very disturbed due to Venezuela’s flood in Vargas State (besides others states).

Last Christmas Venezuela mourned the deaths of many of its citizens. This type of adversity has been unique in Venezuela’s history. So, it has been a year since such a catastrophe happened. For numerous Venezuelans, December 1999 has become like a sad reminder which makes them recall the undesirable. This is why these two major holidays, Christmas and New Year, have adopted a new meaning, and a lot more significant than they used to be. Since then life isn’t taken for granted — December 1999 has changed people’s perspectives. Thus my Christmas at the airport was too trivial in comparison to what took place in this tropical country. Actually I did enjoy my Airport Christmas because I met nice people and all of them have become e-mail friends.

Changeable Origin
At first most holidays, like Thanksgiving, weren’t intended to become times of celebration of any kind. But time is a circle; we can’t escape from it. We end where we begin (figuratively and literally speaking). Time’s circumference is like a reminder, and this becomes an opportunity to commemorate whatever may be. Certainly this kind of festivity is born because of an extraordinary event. The only negative side of holidays’ marvelous atmospheres is the fact that we forget their purpose. Furthermore, in life everything changes. If you don’t believe me, check out your wrinkles and gray hair. Oh, you don’t have such things? Don’t despair. You’ll get them, sooner than later! At times purposes have to evolve in order to remain alive. Once again, the perfect example is Thanksgiving.

Peace on Earth
“Joy to the world,” do what? Ha, that’s the tricky part. Christmas is far from peaceful and far from stress free. So, Christmas’ joy vanishes as if it’s a magician’s act. For instance, think about the times that you go out to shop with the long and customary list. You try to buy according to everyone’s taste. You worry about the right color, the right size, and certainly the right style of whatever it may be. Hey, by the time Christmas is over; you’ll need to go on vacation. So there goes your peace and joy. Of course, there are many wonderful things for which we should be grateful. But Christmas isn’t one of those things, ha. If I’m not mistaking about the date, CNN reported (12/18/00) that most people dread Christmas. Why is it true? Well, one of the reasons is the giant emphasis in gifts plus great expenses in decent meals. Aren’t we extravangant? I don’t think this requires an answer. Oh, but I must say that some people think Christmas has lost its purpose. Okay, if so is true, then what’s Christmas purpose? Let’s take some time to analyze this in our next paragraph plus let’s do it through questions.

Christmas’ Purpose
Is this about Jesus? Do you want a straight answer? Okay, I don’t think Christmas is about Jesus! It may have been about Jesus some time ago, but for a long period of time this has been about gifts and relatives. Of course, “BLIND” people want to hide this fact from the world’s reality. Who are those blind people? Religious individuals. Hey, I’m not saying Christmas doesn’t have any thing to do with Christ since Christ was its primary reason. I’m saying that its purpose has changed, whether we like it or not. Nevertheless, this change is healthy, positive. We can’t keep only one face and one face only (ja). I do believe that “same old same old” gets boring. Now let me give you an example from a narrow minded preacher and song leader. [Note: I do not want to mention this preacher’s name; let me be a bit more tactful (at least in this article)].

Back to the point—he said—“Christmas isn’t about family, but about Christ. Christ is Christmas’ reason.” Beautiful thought, but this is far from our reality. Yes, I do understand his point of view, but his point of view needs to be updated. Christ-mas, the name of this great festivity has Jesus’ name (Christ). So I do agree that Christmas origin has been and will always be about Christ, but this time of celebration has changed its perspective. Christmas has become one more excuse to spend time with one’s family. Isn’t that great? I do think so plus I love this extra reason to share with the ones I love. There isn’t a single reason why we should feel ashamed or mortified just because Christmas has become a family matter. On the contrary, this is the most beautiful thought. If Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, or TGIF gives me an opportunity to celebrate with my family, I’ll take advantage of each and every moment.

Christmas, a Love Story
Some time ago, I used to observe people’s gestures. People used to attract me; they seemed appealing as if I tried to study them. Well, those days are finished like “Gone with the Wind.” For a pretty good while, I have been more interested in reading and writing. Nevertheless, human beings are still nice. For example, at the airport I heard a nice song; the dead singer Karen Carpenter sang it. This song has a terrific message. This song says that everyday is a holiday. Whenever I travel during the holidays, I feel a bit guilty. I have to leave many people behind to see the ones in front. What do I have to say about it? We can’t make everyone happy! That’s what I have to say. One can’t pretend that he or she cares about someone else ONLY during Christmas or Thanksgiving. Honestly that’s pathetic. If we believe Christmas is a love story, let’s live what we believe.

Zero Gifts
Case example, my husband and I have decided we don’t want gifts during Christmas. Usually we don’t want to follow the customary pattern just because because. If my husband receives gifts from me, they must be because we have something special in mind. The same thing if he gives me some gifts, they have to be meaningful. Christmas isn’t our only reason to give or receive. If this would be true, this wouldn’t be a love story, but a bitter one. I encourage you to take advantage of every moment in life with your family. Family matters, and Christmas is just one more excuse in our list. So let Christmas or New Year be everyday of the year. Why? Well, one lives in an excellent shape (inside and outside). One lives smiling because life itself is a reason. Our happiness can’t depend in how many gifts we receive during Christmas. Our well-being is greater than those things.

Keep in mind that you are important today and always. I thank you for reading this article; I thank you for staying with me this year. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have a reason to write because writers need an audience … and so you are! Once again, let Christmas be EVERYDAY because everyday has a reason to celebrate.