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Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

The Transformation of Christmas
By Robbin Whachell
Dec 22, 2011 - 8:42:44 PM

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We all Learn and Grow by Experiencing One Another's Cultures

Raised Catholic, Christmas was always a very special time in our family and involved going to midnight mass, readings about the virgin birth and resurrection, decorating the tree and our home, opening multiple presents, and feasting and relaxing together.

Today Christmas is celebrated in many ways, or not celebrated at all. I am noticing more and more people turning away from the tradition. Perhaps due to the economy, perhaps its over commercialization, or lack of 'Christ', and perhaps because others are not of the faith or culture that celebrates Christmas. The cultures of the world are most certainly mixing in North America and neighboring countries, and in Europe. The world is becoming one family.

Life here in Canada is a good example of the change. The area I live in is a mix of the united nations, and I almost feel 'the foreigner' now in my own country after returning.

All over North America, many schools are no longer celebrating Christmas as before. Gone are the days of seeing nativity scenes, the Christmas concert where children re-enact the nativity and belt out all those fabulous carols I grew up with. Images of baby Jesus, Christmas trees or Santas are scarce in many schools in fear they may offend students from other cultures and religions.

I am still not convinced this serves a productive purpose, as I would not expect any country to change for me, just because I am living there. I feel that tradition is a personal family thing, but we all learn and grow by experiencing one another's cultures. What we do in our own homes is our own business, but why alter a country's culture and tradition? Or does the influx of foreigners and shift of the populace warrant the change?

I am shocked at the decline of Christmas lights on houses this year after 13 years away from Canada. On my 40 story apartment building, only one other person than myself is showing lights on their balcony on our side of the structure, just days before the holy night.  Christmas in Canada was a magical time as a child. Streets, where at least half the houses had lights on them was the norm, and gave the warmest childhood memories.

You can take away Christ, Santa, the Tree, but one thing you cannot take away is FAMILY. Family is the most treasured thing we have. Without it our children would not learn of any culture, religion or tradition. The world and our lives are moving so fast. These holiday breaks force us to pause and appreciate what we have, or one year could well zoom into the next, and the next.

So if you are one that has dumped the annual tradition, or if perhaps you never celebrated it, I hope you are at least gathering to enjoy your kin. Acknowledge what is 'family' this Christmas, or what is now more socially correct, the "Holiday".... oops I said the "C" word! Hug your loved ones, whether they are your blood relatives or not. Renew the love between you, and savour the time together as you create fond future memories of family times past.

Happy FAMILY holiday to you!

Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Christmas Nostalgia

About the author: Robbin Whachell is a publicist, writer, photo-journalist; and co-founder/ editor of one of The Bahamas' leading news sites, TheBahamasWeekly.com. Ms. Whachell is a successful entrepreneur and pioneer in online marketing. Aside from being a recognized media personality and community builder, she is known for her networking and social media skills, and has a background in information management and film.She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Skype. Reach Robbin by email at Editor@thebahamasweekly.com

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