Ah the ‘Joy of Christmas’ … and the ‘Sadness of Christmas’. No other time of year manages to invoke both extremes so completely.
The Christmases of my childhood were filled with joy and goodies of all sorts. There were always presents under the tree with my name on them. I didn’t even mind getting socks and underwear.
It was a wonderful time for family sharing, but all too soon it changed. Grandparents passed away, then parents got ill, and marriages went south. By the time I hit my forties I came to wish that I could pull the covers over my head about mid-December, and not have to surface until after New Year’s.
Part of the problem was working in the news business. The regular news shuts down, and all too often, all we have to put out there are stories about tragedy in various forms.
This year came the death of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. The media, most notably the CBC, went way over the top with wall to wall coverage. The strongest message left by this great leader is worth cherishing and remembering more than ever at Christmas. It’s about the power of forgiveness.
Not many of us have ever had fewer reasons to forgive than the man they called Madiba. His freedom was taken away for 27 years, in a manner that was brutal and cruel in the extreme. He realized though that hatred clouds the mind, and makes it so much harder to move forward with positive change.
That change was the end of apartheid, followed by forgiveness and reconciliation. It’s a remarkable story, and it’s far from over. In our own lives, most of us have undoubtedly loudly declared that we hated someone, or a group of people.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it ended once and for all.
Have a Merry Christmas.
I’m Roger Currie.
Image of angel in SoundCloud link by M. LeBlanc