What a way to end the week after all the dismal, gruesome, frustrating, infuriating and tragic news. Choose a continent, take your pick of headlines as which was the worst – my pick for the worst leadership during the pandemic is the CEO of a hospital who sent out a memo to his entire staff about his refusal to wear a mask. Then last night before going to bed I found the following news item that made my week: Santa Claus has been given clearance to enter Irish Airspace this Christmas. The video is the most important part of the entire article and you simply have to watch it until the end.
There is hope for Christmas after all, but the question is, will Santa be granted the same status throughout the rest of the EU? How do North America, Central and South America feel about this? Australia and New Zealand anyone, since he begins his tour in that part of the world? The questions are endless, and almost ridiculous, but it does raise the point of travelling during the holidays this year. There is absolutely nothing normal about this year, so any respite from the doom and gloom is welcome.
Up until this morning I was in two minds about decorating for Christmas this year. I thought perhaps maybe I would skip the tree altogether and just go for the advent wreath, but after watching the Irish video I said to myself that if there was ever a year when creating a little magic at home was important it is December 2020. All other Christmases will eventually fade away in memory at one time or another and become one big blur, but not 2020. We will remember the frustration, the anger, the confusion, the disillusion, but if we put a bit of effort, we will also remember that amidst all the chaos, there was a little corner of the world that was safe, warm, full of hope, faith and courage.
Down into the basement we went to hunt for the decorations. I fundamentally object to buying a fresh tree, no matter how magical they smell and what a difference it makes to have instead of an artificial one, but I can’t bring myself to throw the whole thing out at the end of the holidays. It is literally throwing money away, and in a year when every penny counts, all the more reason to hold on to what is already there.
The artificial tree that I have will be five years old this year. I bought it for my parents when I moved them into a smaller apartment the year before they passed away. Mommy gave me her specifications and made sure I only purchased Filipino tree ornaments made out of capiz so that when I eventually inherited them, I would always carry a bit of the Philippines with me. (click HERE for the back story) More importantly. she wanted my daughter to always remember her Filipino heritage. Little did I know that I would inherit them the very next year.
In spite of the elegance of the capiz, which I absolutely adore, I make it point to bring out all the handmade quilted crafts Mommy made, which thankfully made their way back to me after a brief separation. It gives me a sense of continuity and comfort in the knowledge that in spite of all the upheavals, certain values and traditions that are the thread that weaves a family history together will be kept alive. What good is a family if you cannot pass on memories, values and comfort and keep only the bad and bitter alive? Reconciliation with the past is important so that when our time comes, there are no open chapters left.
I end the day with the satisfaction of having created a warm and cosy space for the holidays, where I can prepare my spirit for the true Christmas. I have the Irish to thank this year for the motivation. Had they not granted Santa Claus essential worker status for the pandemic I would have not put in the effort.