Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Greetings from greencrow

Nativity Scene
highlighting the visit of the Maji

Good Christmas Eve Morning Everyone!  This will be my post until after the Holiday (unless there is a "Breaking News" story) and it's going to be a small glimpse into how Christmas is celebrated here on the West Coast in Canada.  Christmas is the one yearly event that is celebrated all over the world but each community has their own traditions, handed down from generation to generation...and sometimes borrowed from other communities and traditions.  Particularly true in Canada, where wave after wave of immigrants from other countries in Europe and beyond brought their own culture and traditions with them to the "new land" (as they erroneously considered it to be).

A Canadian Christmas

My great grandparents came from Ireland where the manger scene is the focal point of any Christmas decorations.  Large or small, it represents so much more than the Christmas speaks to the sacredness of the family unit and the celebration of new life.  The above are two manger scenes or "crèche" (the French for manger scene) in my own living room.  The first I like because it highlights the coming of the "Wise Men"...bringing the wisdom of the orient to the West.  The second in the video above is one I made myself many years ago when my children were small.  It is an invitation to look at Christmas through the eyes of the child.

We always made sugar cookies at Christmas when I was a child.  It was an opportunity for youngsters to get into the kitchen with mom and make something to be enjoyed by all!

Christmas Sugar Cookies 
kept cool in the Garage until "needed" 

Baking Sugar Cookies

Along with religious and cultural traditions, each family develops their own traditions over the our family, my partner only hangs three paper ornaments on the tree each year...these are the three paper ornaments he made as a child for his grandmother in Sweden over sixty years ago.  These fragile cardboard decorations somehow miraculously survived the immigration to Canada and travel all over British Columbia, including living in logging camps...before settling in Vancouver.

Cardboard Christmas decoration
made by a child in Sweden
63 years ago

My yearly contribution to Family Christmas tradition is telling the story about "The Year I Got No Presents".  This is a particularly valuable "first world" lesson of deprivation to youngsters inundated with presents and toys.  It actually they say...a series of unfortunate events.  My mother who was being overwhelmed by raising nine children (several in their terrible teen years) decided one year that we should "pick names" and each give each other gifts.  It was a terrible idea...but had to be there.  My brother who, at 14, was two years older than I was at 12...declared openly that he was NOT going to participate and that whoever's name he got (by default as he did not choose a there was one name left over) was NOT going to get a present.  Well, Christmas morning arrived and my younger brother and I were the first up and downstairs to see what "Santa" had placed beneath the big, well decorated tree in the front hall.  There were dozens of gifts, large and small...but as we searched for gifts bearing our became tragically clear there was none with my name on it.  My younger brother stopped examining his gifts and joined me in a deeper search...still...nothing.

When the family gathered around the table later on at breakfast and my mother learned that I had received nothing...she, again, tragically underreacted.  She said she needed some things at the local supermarket...would send me there with some cash...and whatever was left over I could have to "buy myself something nice" as the saying goes.  Well, I did go to the supermarket with the cash but, after purchasing everything on the list...there was NO cash left over.  I can't remember why my father didn't intervene and "save the day" as he frequently did between clashes between my mother and myself in those days...but he was working very hard at the time and no doubt preoccupied...trying to keep a roof over the heads of a family of 11.  The story of my "Bad Christmas" got buried in the ensuing years...which were full of several even more momentous and turbulent family events....until I resurrected it years later when my children were small.  I created a tradition of sorts, telling it as a cautionary tale every year if there was someone present who hadn't heard it before...and sometimes even if there wasn't.  This year there will be someone "new" at the Christmas dinner and I relish the thought of telling the old tale ; )

A few years ago, my brother finally apologized to me for not getting me a gift.  "What was I thinking?" was his rationalization of the event. Of course it all had to do with teenage hormones and my parents being overwhelmed with work and budgetary concerns.

But, truth be told, I value that rather unique (in our first world society) early lesson in life.  It has shaped my approach to Christmas each year...I try especially hard to carefully choose and wrap each gift and put a personal note on the tag.  As everyone in our family says and as you will see in the video above...and as the Swedish song of the same name goes...."I Yust go Nuts at Christmas!"

"I Yust go Nuts at Christmas"

So, to all my readers, near and far... those who put comments on my blog and those who just lurk....To my truther blogging colleagues and, particularly, to all the oppressed and forgotten in all the countries of the world who we've been writing about during the past year. I wish you all a peaceful and joyful Christmas and a wonderful New Year one which will include positive change towards Peace.  In closing, I present this Christmas Carol.  It occurred to me recently this carol could be the anthem of the "Truth Movement"..."Do You See What I See?"

Do You See What I See?
(Do You Hear What I Hear?)
The Anthem of the Truthers?


Penny said...

I liked your story GC
Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

This tune is my delusional truth anthem.
I love the words they added in,instead of the real words.
Every child must be
Oh well
One can dream in a delusional way
Have to hear this tune every year
This can not happen in reality
Everyone knows why.