This year, Christmas has come with bitter/sweet feelings. It feels nice to be surrounded by loved ones while being showered by exotic gifts. It makes warm hearts feel warmer when all members are clustered around the dinner table, savoring dishes well crafted with an utmost care while all is being executed under the glamorized eyes of kisses and laughter. In a blur, the good life seems endless. This could go on for ever. But this only represents the mirror reflection of a world that is becoming more surreal, more illusory by the minutes. Few people in this world could afford to live this fantasy. Santa Claus is no longer the philanthropist on a mission to lift all children from gloom to infinite happiness. Santa has long become a choosy, unfair and bewildered judge biased toward children who only live in the land of plenty.
Yes, in the land of lavished life, children need not to worry about being nice or naughty. When Santa makes his list and checks it twice, you bet they are always included. On Christmas Eve, Santa always finds a way to make his way down under the Christmas tree, whether it is through the chimney or from under the garage door. From his snow castle in the North Pole, Santa swoops down under a dazzling display of shooting stars with Rudolph commandeering his sleigh filled with gifts.
Choosing the land of plenty, which represents a tiny fraction of the planet, is something of strategic importance to Santa, who no longer has to undertake such a long and treacherous journey around the globe. But what happens to millions of children who live near or in abject poverty? Millions in the slums of Cité Soleil, millions in shanty towns around Kingston, Jamaica, millions in inner city neighborhoods in urban America, millions who are squatting in abandoned, dilapidated buildings in Parisians suburbs, and millions in Farvelas of Brazil?
It will take more than just a short moment of fantasy to be able to lift them from poverty to a decent life. It will take relentless efforts guided by democratic governance to make it happen. But on this Christmas Day, CSMS Magazine is wishing a jolly moment to all disenfranchised children.