Christmas Festival – What it Means to us?

As I am writing this column, the news of the new variant of the Covid-19 virus has just started coming. And we’ve gone through the Greek alphabets for this virus; we’re now up to the Omicron variant. Every time we think we have overcome and are ready to open, this virus throws in another curveball; it’s almost like it has been waiting to mutate until we start celebrating Christmas Festival.

We can still celebrate; Australia is one of the best-prepared countries in the world, we are one of the most highly vaccinated societies in the world.

Christmas Festival celebrations have already started across Australia, and after a long pause, many among the diaspora are preparing to fly overseas to meet their loved ones for holidays. The virus is just trying to remind us it’s still around, and we need to be careful. To be honest, we all have had enough, and we were looking forward to this Christmas and New Year break.

I asked my friends what Christmas meant to them; each had their own versions. Many in the multicultural communities who don’t have Christmas due to their faith still celebrate Christmas in their way. For them, Christmas meant a holiday, meeting family and friends, forgetting the diet, decorating the Christmas tree at home even if they don’t follow the faith, buying gifts, just taking a break and so on. The most important aspect of them all is- Christmas means spending time with family and friends, no matter how we celebrate it or even if we don’t.

During Christmas and New Year breaks, many among our diaspora will travel back home and meet their family and friends. Getting on the flight will be exciting; many hugs, cheers and bonding are long overdue. This Christmas may be different to many. So many have lost their loved ones, we will not be able to see them; it will be confronting in many ways. It is not easy to be so far away from loved ones and especially lose one when we are oceans apart. But we have to continue and celebrate their lives together with ours; we owe this to our loved ones.

Supporting one another is also the best of Christmas. Yes, we have been great during the pandemic. We shared ours with those who didn’t have any; we spoke for others when they couldn’t, that’s the Aussie spirit, and no one can outdo us in celebrations. The cheer of the holiday season will light up not just houses around us, also our hearts with joy.

In the words of Michelle Obama, “You may not always have a comfortable life, and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once. But don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

Let’s look forward with courage and hope that the New year will bring joy and the world will be much closer than it is.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!