Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bah Humbug Christmas ain't here, is it?

As I move about Nassau this season I am trying to make sense that this is infact Christmas. The weather, although it has cooled a bit still feels like end of summer/ early fall in Canada. There are no signs of flurries, although with some of the Bahamians and Haitians wearing wool hats you might suspect a different forecast! There are no frosted plants in the mornings in fact I have been told this is the time to start my garden, gasp..really! And Christmas you say is here?

Bah Humbug Christmas aint' here.

I have heard Christmas songs, both sacred and secular. The secular songs here in the Caribbean are just like the Canadian songs I know. Focusing on snow, Santa on a sleigh and chestnuts roasting all of which are sung by school kids who for the most part have never seen a snow flake or felt the cold winter air. Confusing.

Bah Humbug Christmas ain't here!!

Santa, here in Nassau still wears a big red wool coat and is atop a sleigh, if I were Santa in the Caribbean I would have chosen a red linen suit that breathes and a scooter for my transportation. I am not even sure how he gets in the homes, I have yet to see a fire place in any of the Bahamian homes.
Bah Humbug Christmas ain't here!!

The front lawns of our neighbours and store fronts have decorated palm trees all lit up, and you can see their imported Canadian Christmas trees all lit up on the inside of their homes. There are turkeys ready to be stuffed and sweet potatoes ready to peel and be turned into a sweet mash. Pumpkin pies line the shelves of the grocery store and even some dogs are wearing antlers in an attempt to look like Max from the Grinch. But I say...

Bah Humbug Christmas ain't here!!

I have never been really big on celebrating the Santas, trees or stockings. I love food but big dinners do not make for me a memorable Christmas. So as I was looking for signs of Christmas down here in Nassau I was struggling. Then I realized, what makes my memories are the moments I stop getting caught up in all the expected trimmings of Christmas and hold in my heart the nativity.

My favourite part of the Nativity scene is found in Luke 2:19 when we hear that "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart". She at that moment realized was happening to her and to the world. She thrilled that a Saviour was about to be born. Mary cherished that God was reaching down to the world, not just to watch us but to be with us. That she was carrying the Emmanuel, God with us. And there is it...

Christmas is here!!

..in fact because of Jesus, Christmas will never leave. Lights come down in the new year, trees wilt and are tossed in January but Christmas the real Christmas will always be here because God came to be with us. So I need not be with my usual traditions of the Great White North to celebrate Christmas, I just need to ponder, like Mary did, the wonder of God coming down to earth to bring us closer to Him.

Celebrate the Emmanuel not only this week at Christmas but always. Let your heart ponder and renew and simplify where you look for Christmas, then where you may be found, so can Christmas no matter what it looks like on the outside!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the family photo! Makes me miss you more!!
    I have been thinking exactly on those very words in Luke 2 since a sermom preached by Paul Martin a few weeks ago. i love how you remind me to cherish our saviour!
    Miss you and wish you a warm Christmas
    (at least you are not in line at an airport to go somewhere hot, you are there!!)

    love ya (no baby news yet, soon... babe is content to remain for now!)