Oh, Christmas! That time of the year where everybody’s heart is filled with warm and an inexplicable wit; where the air smells of typical Christmas delicacies such as “buñuelos”, hojaldras”, and “manjar blanco”. Yes, it is that time of the year which, I confess with no shame at all, I hate from the bottom of my heart.
Many have called me a bitter bitch, others, in a more decent fashion; have preferred to call me a Colombian “Grinch”. I just think I am a regular person who believes that Christmas is a celebration that has been totally twisted for the sake of capitalism and a fake sense of joy.
No, I am not a pseudo-communist either. But please be honest: What is the point of getting drunk to the core, eat like there is no tomorrow and spend money you don’t have in gifts very few people are going to appreciate? Is it just because it is the holiday season? Give me a break! I have heard a lot of people saying: “Oh my Gosh, I have to spend Christmas with my horrible witch aunt and I have to buy my stupid cousin a gift.” I have also heard comments such as: “Dude, I don’t know what to give to my girlfriend, I will give her a gift card and that way I will solve the problem quickly”, or things like: “Geez, what a hideous gifts my parents gave me! Why?”
I hate Christmas. I just do. I hate seeing how the true meaning of this Holyday was flushed down the toilet by a society that has been blinded by their constant need to buy. It saddens me to see how families don’t get together and pray or how people take this season as an excuse to party like crazy and get hammered.
Despite the fact that I am neither a devoted Catholic nor a consecrated Cristian, I remember a time when Christmas was a 9 day preparation to commemorate the birth of Christ and to spiritually connect with your loved ones. When sharing a Christmas meal was a ritual and when giving and receiving gifts had a symbolic meaning. I believe that this season, for whatever reason, should at minimum be a chance to reflect on our actions, give to others what we have been so blessed to receive throughout the year (donations for charity, groceries for a poor family, etc.) and spend quality time with those who are closest to our hearts.
Some enjoy the fireworks, others love dancing “melomerengues” and gathering to pray the “novena” (when in truth they want to drink “guaro” and eat empanadas), and many more love the traditional pig killing in the neighborhood. Good for them if they like to run to the hospital with a burned child or a cut due to a drunken fight. I rather stay home alone, stare at the lights of my mother’s Christmas tree, have a glass or two of red wine, and make a toast to my life and the precious things I have. To me, my dear readers, that is to have Christmas in our hearts.