Tomorrow I will be singing with my lovely HOREB GOSPEL CHOIR at a Christmas Bazaar organized by the Christian Women Society from church. I guess it is going to be a lot of fun but practicing and thinking about all the lyrics got me writing this post.
I was about 6 or 7 years old, meaning my little brother was 2 or 3, we did not have much money to live but Christmas was coming. I remember the three of us laying at my mom´s bed watching TV and she turned around and said “Today I was thinking, If I see all these people buying things like crazy, gifts, lights, trees, Christmas bread, everything they can buy for their “God´s birthday” and I am one of those little kids living in the streets trying to get through every day, begging for money, not knowing what comes next, and surely not happy, I would think “WHAT AND UNFAIR GOD!” wouldn´t you?” – That questions changed our Christmas forever.
After that we decided to stop celebrating Christmas for a couple of years, no tree and no presents. Instead, the three musketeers (my mom, my little brother and I) decided to buy milk and chocolate to prepare some hot chocolate and some bread and give it away on Christmas to all the children that came to sing to our house on that time of the year.
In my country there is this tradition that the poor people, mostly children, knock doors and when someone answers they say: “I can sing to the Niño Jesus (baby Jesus) so he can bless you. The idea is that after they sing you give them something: food or money normally, maybe a used sweater to cover them self from the cold weather. As I said before we didn’t have much but we decided to share, so when they knocked our door they got the only thing we had. hot chocolate, bread and our smiles and love. Every time someone knocked our door our hearts were broken, there were so many children!
A couple of years went by and it was Christmas again! I was 10 or 11 years by then. My brother and I had a talk and took some serious decisions, after a while we went to talk with my mom “Mom, can we have Christmas this year? Only for us, it doesn’t have to been on December so the kids won’t see us and think that our God is a bad god – she laugh with love and pain but we kept talking – they don’t need to know, it would be a secret Christmas, we can have a tree and presents but we won’t let the poor kids find out that we got a Christmas that they can never have”. My mom felt sorry for the two poor little children she had a home wanting to celebrate a Coca Cola Christmas. After that day we started celebrating Christmas again. If you ask my mom she will say “It was in the midst of those different Christmas that God thought us the true meaning of a Holy Night”.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
I will never forget that here in my beautiful corner of the world, Bolivia, there are children sleeping outside, they live with less than a dollar per day, they have to go door to door on Christmas to find food, money or clothes, singing to baby Jesus to bless someone else. IT HURTS!!
I know I won’t stop poverty or oppression in the world, but maybe I can do it in someone’s word right? at least in the “Holy Night”. In this Christmas I don’t want others looking at me and my way of celebrating Jesus birth, life, death and resurrection by heating this unfair god of the guys on the other side of the door.
“Best of all, Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and the love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God.”
We are his hands and feet we can make Christmas something more than a religious holiday. We can change someone’s life on Christmas (and every day) so please when they knock to your door this year give God´s love. You can give a special gift for Christmas or a life changing gift: you could donate to charity, fund a microloand or spend time with your neighbor; you can sponsor a child in Bolivia, advocate and raise awareness or do whatever other thing that God is calling you to do, and it could be hot chocolate too. Let’s not remain conform to this religious holiday that has become more about us than about God.
( I took those quotes from here Top Ten Christmas Quotes)
It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you . . . yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.