It’s finally here! Christmas is only four days away. It’s strange how time flies so fast around the holiday season. You blink and it’s over. Jus as your finish putting up the Christmas decorations, you barely have time to enjoy them and suddenly, you start to take them down.
I’m not trying to burst the holiday bubble, really I’m not. It’s just every year, as the holidays start earlier (as in October) they seem to go by faster. You look forward to going to holiday parades, Christmas tree lighting celebrations, visiting family and before you know it, POOF! It’s all gone.
By the end of the week, the annual parade of Christmas specials will change into “Year in Review” specials and a look back at 2015. It’s just too abrupt. We have become a society where “we want it fast and we want it now” as we try to cram everything into one holiday, not even enjoying it as we rush off into the next. It’s like when you mother tells you “to slow down and enjoy your dinner” but you just want to get it over with so you can go back to playing video games or watching TV.
Some cultures even take Christmas out farther to January 6 to celebrate the Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, when the three wise men finally arrived at the manger to present gifts to the baby Jesus. There are so many significant differences in cultures and how they celebrate Christmas, you wouldn’t even recognize it in other countries.
In the Far East, like China and Japan, Christmas is not a recognized national holiday. It’s more of a commerce-driven celebration. Sure, they still exchange gifts, hang up decorations and send out Christmas cards, but not for the same reason as us. In most African nations, Christmas is a time when people empty the cities and return to their ancestral homes to be with family. In all of this, you can still see the one common denominator, bringing people together to celebrate family and friends.
So, however you celebrate Christmas this year, I hope you can spend that time with family and friends and enjoy the holiday and the end of 2015. So here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, and a Happy New Year!