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Friday, June 14, 2024

Waiting for Santa in the barrios and in Sité Soleil

By Chantale Jimenez

CSMS Magazine Staff Writer

Christmas is one of the most dazzling periods of the year for someone who is Christian, and since I was a little girl, I was always fascinated by this wonderful season filled with jolly people trying to make their lives a little bit merry. I come from a fervent Catholic family in a barrio of Corpus Cristi, where my parents never missed a Sunday without receiving the host of faith as a divide act of contrition against all the wrongs they might have committed during the preceded week. So enthralled by the tradition, I became an altar-girl at the age of 12 shortly after I received my first communion. Every year during the Christmas season, I could easily sense the feverish activity going on in both my house and in the church. Multiple fiestas were organized in my staunchly catholic community with the Christmas Carrols hitting the airwaves, the holiday gifts mounting under the Christmas tree, and the countless rehearsals in the choir. All this had enshrined in my soul the sensation of living en el paradisco.

            Like most children, I was never really interested in Christmas Day. It was too boring. Everyone just sat around the house with nothing to do but sleep or making long distance calls to relatives from el viejo pais. But the days preceding Christmas Day mesmerized me immensely. Ironically, those days were the ones responsible for my deep sadness, my infinite melancholy soon after the holidays were over. I would simply retreat to my old self, longing for Christmas to come again, in one month if possible.

            Those days are long gone, along with the free wheeling attitude, the bliss, the ecstasy and the innocent state-of-mind that marked my character throughout my childhood. Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock to make a replay of what seems to be a life gone forever. Now, I am a mother of 2 children. Having my own family and responsibilities, I clearly understand that Christmas can frantically be merry for two categories of people: 1) Children who live in the comfort and the sheltered warmness of their beloved parents—totally unaware of all the nightmarish elements of life. 2) The super rich who do not have to worry about spending lavishly, and their only worry and, perhaps obsession, is NOT to miss the train that will ultimately land them their meteoric rise to fame. Money and fame surely entail a marvelous, splendid and superb combination.                             

                However, for the vast majority of our citizens, Christmas can only bring bitter/sweet feelings, especially if one has to take a look at the plight of millions around the world who will never get the chance to meet Santa in their life time. There is a gross unfairness on how wealth is distributed around the world, even right here at home. It is a mockery to misery when one person has to consume what a thousand people would get in some developing countries. While millions of children dig through the garbage dump for leftovers in Mexico City’s slums, Haiti’s dilapidated neighborhoods, and in the swampy banks of the Tigris River near Bagdad, few hundred are currently living an illusory lifestyle intoxicated by glamour and fame.

            With the country now officially in a recession, one wonders when will Santa Claus pay his long awaited visit to the millions of children whose naughtiness did not amount to this harsh disregard?  Life can be so unfair! Tonight, as Santa walks into town with Rudolph commandeering his sleigh filled with fancy toys, he will miss again an other great opportunity to be unbiased and generous. Santa once again will ring the bell of the New York stock exchange, as he does every year. But this year, though, his mission will be far grandiose then the previous ones. He will bring his suitcase filled with greens from the Treasury secretary’s office to bailout the children of the super rich whose parents’ misdeeds are the direct results of this economic madness we find ourselves in today. As for the children of Haiti, or Mexico, or Zimbabwe? Well, they will have to WAIT.

See also Coping with holiday stress

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  1. I really liked this post. You explain this topic very well. There are many precious moments in life, why not wear a striking dress! When looking back on special memories of your child wearing a striking dress, it will put a smile on your face.

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