December 2013 - Nr. 12
While I did not feel very much like Christmas early in the
season because knowing that we will be spending the holidays
alone, I soon had a change of heart. Not only could I remind
myself of the reason for the season, as I even named one of my
poems, but we attended already many seasonal festivities that
warmed my heart and made me glad. Furthermore I heard a quote
that reinforced my believe that academic education - while
important, is worth little if there is not also an education of
the heart. Mother Theresa is to have said that no act of
kindness is too small. My sentiments exactly. Without compassion
for ones fellow man and creatures we are not really equipped to
experience life to its fullest.
Christmas is one of those occasions when showing compassion is
part of our traditions. Charity is at a high point and
friendships and family play a big part in our lives.
It truly is not about the gifts. That might be important to
children, especially nowadays; but caring and showing
appreciation and gratitude is very important.
There are many ways to do wonderful things for others. Instead
of having a big Christmas dinner in my house, we will be alone,
but still caring for those that cannot come to us. I will be
giving away some of the surplus in my house, that I am always
surprised to see accumulated over the years. I’ll be cooking
dinner for a very ill friend and her husband. And I will be
happy to reflect quietly in my festively decorated living room,
with my husband and our four cats inside and the varied
There is much to reflect on this year. The world changed again
and not really for the better. It has not become a safer place
except for the havens we created for ourselves with family,
friends and in the community. We cannot look to our politicians
for satisfying acts or explanations. As many of them do not
longer set a good example or make good decisions in our names.
Or was it never different? Did we simply not notice as much
before; or have we become more cynical?
It is good that we can escape into our traditions and look to
them for stability. The practice of our culture, the familiarity
with customs and the actions accompanying them is of great value
and comfort at any time, but especially at this time of year.
I wish all of us a wonderful Christmas filled with joy.
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, editor, editor-in-chief of Echo Germanica,
comments, cultural, artistic, political, daily events, German-Canadian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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