Well I tend to ask that question since it seems that a lot of the Christmas things I used to relate to this joyful feast have kind of disappeared. I don't want to sound negative at all but as each year goes by I tend to feel that the so called Christmas Spirit is simply fading away.
You remember the times when one could walk the streets of small villages in Malta and each and every window was lit up? When the streets had simple decorations which make you immediately realise something important is going to happen? Today it seems a lot of people have succumbed to the austerity measures and decided not to decorate and the simple street decoration were simply changed to a concentration of elaborate decor in one street of every village so as to compete for the best street decoration competition.
Remember when the rush used to be to get some more small plaster statuettes for the year's crib extension, some moss, grow the "gurbiena" and wonder in the countryside to get some "Saghtar" (Maltese name for Wild Thyme) which will not only look like small trees in the crib, but also saturates that wonderful Christmassy aroma all around the house. Well now cribs are readymade with plastic statuettes ironically made in China, unfortunately some kids don't even know what "gurbiena" is, since its not within the game console vocabulary and "Saghtar" is becoming an endangered plant species, so you cannot take any home (mind you I agree with this, since some used to take just a twig and others, stupid enough, used to pluck out the whole tree!!).
Christmas has even lost its Scents. The traditional Cocoa drink which my grandma used to do that one could smell from outside the house, the roasted Qastan (chestnuts), the home made Christmas fruit cake and so on. Now seems we are simply lost due to the fast pace and we just buy these ready made.
Speaking of buying stuff, I guess that is what Christmas is left with. We seem to feel obliged to buy stuff for each other to show appreciation - granted - and its not a bad thing, or else we feel that we have to send a happy Christmas SMS to all our contact list on Christmas Eve, sometimes even blocking the major service providers with all the useless template messages. Do we stop and think that sometimes the best way of showing appreciation is by meeting the person, hugging them, look in their eyes and thank them and truly wish them well? This week I was blessed and I received some gifts which I really did appreciate, but honestly one that left a mark was a home made card, two of my colleagues at work did for me which left me speechless - thank you guys once again!!
I personally think Christmas is all about getting together and about family. Meeting up for a meal or a drink, going to mass if you are a believer or just remember the true reason we are celebrating this day - its the birthday of someone who is recognized as a very important person in all the major religions in the world, a person that always represented love - so yes I think we should celebrate, we should celebrate love.
One last thing is that a lot of people still feel a Lot of Christmas Spirit, but the Spirit is usually Vodka, Whiskey, Gin and the lot. Go ahead do drink, but please always responsibly and if you are pissed immaculately, please don't drive - get a taxi or someone else to drive you, or simply sleep in the car, but do not risk your life, that of your passengers and innocent others in the streets as that surely abruptly ends all celebration for everybody.
Happy Xmas to all, wish you love on this day and all days to come! Enjoy :)