Full Disclosure
December 19, 2008
Reason for the Season

As we grow older, the manner in which we celebrate the Christmas Season would change, but there are many central things which will forever remain the same. The centerpiece of the season is the birth of Jesus Christ. It is extraordinarily amazing and remarkable that, after over two thousand years, the birth of this Child is still celebrated. These celebrations do not only take place in the geographical location where He was delivered, but the message of the celebration of this birth has reached the four corners of world.{{more}} Christ is the centerpiece of Christmas. It is an expression that shows that even after His death, He still lives on in the hearts of many in an extremely profound manner, and particularly so since His return to earth has great prophetic currency.

As with all other great activities around the globe, it is most definite that as time progresses and many different cultures are exposed to the same event, everyone will find various interesting ways of expressing the same thought or synthesis of ideas. Hence, many see Christmas as simply a time for relaxation. Schools are on vacation; the work calendar provides time-off for at least a few days; and even the most demanding boss seems to sometimes be drawn into the mood of sharing. This change in attitude lends itself quite naturally to relaxation.

As the Vincentian society and economy continue to evolve, we would, however, experience that more and more persons will have to work throughout the entire Season, when compared to the relatively limited numbers who actually work on Christmas day presently. A typical case in point experienced by many Vincentians occurs in the British Virgin Islands, where the Christmas Season falls in the heart of an ace tourist destination’s peak period. Imagine you are a worker at your busiest time of the year, and it is Christmas. It is an entirely different experience when compared with your Christmas at home, which is sugar coated with relaxation and is really a period to ease one’s mind.

I always encourage that at least you find some quiet time to relax, especially since it is getting so close to the end of the year, where you should in a very calculative sense simply sit and reflect on your strengths and weaknesses during the past months. This is to be done as you plan strategically for the New Year.

Family reunions are extremely popular around this time. The family structure in recent times and in many settings has not been given its fullest recognition as a central unit which holds the fabric of our society together. Weaker family structures in many instances do tend to produce individuals who become extremely susceptible to many of life’s demanding challenges. Already, friends and family are returning to spend the Season with family members in the warmer climates. Interestingly, many are also travelling to major cities to experience a white Christmas with family. It is indeed one of the joys of life to be reunited with loved ones who you may not have seen over an extended period of time. The sharing and unity experienced in the season will always go a long way in strengthening the chords of the family unit.

We should take this opportunity as well to say thanks to many who we take for granted each day simply because we share the same household. Most importantly this Christmas, I intend to spend some quality time with my great grandmother who is presently ninety-nine years old. Our seniors, whether they be a family member or otherwise, should be treated specially and recognized as the crowning jewels of our society.

What would our Christmas be like if we fail to participate in many of the Season’s activities? Participating in the activities which comprise what can safely be referred to as our Christmas culture does not only bring joy and happiness, but it ensures that traditions are passed on. It must be noted that it is this transmission of tradition that offers our youth the perfect opportunity to add to the richness of this cultural experience.

Our unique Nine Mornings activities are now in full swing. In the past few years we have experienced a transformation in the way we celebrate Christmas, especially in rural communities, and more particularly so as it relates to the level of activity which surrounds our village lighting competition. This has definitely invigorated our celebrations.

Well, at this point, many Sunday school classes are putting the final polish onto their recitations as they prepare for this year’s Christmas programme. Our Christmas is really special. The calmness of a Vincy Christmas morning really cannot be traded for any other, and the preparation for Christmas lunch and Old Year’s night service, then a cook thereafter, all play their roles in bringing joy to the Season without losing the true meaning.

A period for relaxation; spending time with family and friends as we reunite; shopping- buying and selling; and our Christmas cultural expressions are all a part of a uniquely blended Vincy Christmas. However, whatever you do this Christmas, you must at all times remember that Christ is the true reason for the season.

Saboto Caesar is a Lawyer and Unity Labour Party Senator.