Vincent Black

My Christmas…today & in the past!




Yes, Christmas comes once a year and the meaning of this day has changed over the years for me and takes on a different perspective from year to year. As you move forward from your early to the present day one usually never thinks about reflecting on and what better day to do that than Christmas. In the past it was a day filled with simplicity and purity about the fact that l didn’t know any better or had experienced much of what the real meaning of Christmas was and the impact that it had made on civilization for good or bad.

These day’s you may be offending some folks by saying “Merry Christmas” because those two words would not be politically correct. In my time these two words were used in every sentence around this time, but today most would want you to use the words “Happy Holidays” because Merry Christmas are nor proper words for not encompassing all religions and beliefs. I needed to bring this up because l have been corrected by others when l use those two words and for me this is one of the things that dampens my spirit at this time of the year. Unless certain words are disrespectful and offend someone, l see no need to be politically correct on saying Merry Christmas.

There was an innocence in the past at this time of the year and that innocence is gone, wrapped up in a box with a bow and sent off to obscurity. Folks and neighbors would exchange pleasantries and in some case gifts, but the real intention was respect for one another and our families. The common mutual respect from the past is gone and today many do not even exchange a pleasantry or a simple gesture. The thought of someone possibly taking a wrong approach and claiming otherwise is on many folk’s mind, its unfortunate to say that but it’s true and many would not admit it. In the end, many just say nothing and move on with no pleasantries or well wishes. A sad state, but unfortunately true.

For many, Christmas is seen as a time to exchange gifts with one another. Getting something that you usually cannot use that just sits in your basement still partially wrapped up for years. Or someone gives you what is termed “regifted” a gift that some one received, gets rewrapped in some cases and regifted to someone else. This time of the year is a major marketing time for many companies and their brands. The simple gift is no longer available, and one can feel it when something is received. For me, l went back to doing something very personal and simple….and that is baking something that came from my hands or someone in my family and given with love and care. You may want to rethink of what you give out and consider something very personal. One other form of personal touches that has gone to the wayside is writing a handwritten note. Taking the time to sit down and pen a note to someone is priceless and should be done more often. Forget sending someone a text or an email, pick up a pen and write down your thoughts about that someone and how you feel about them. You would be surprised how much one would appreciate that.

COVID-19 has changed many things about how we celebrate Christmas and other holiday’s and in fact, l would make the argument that COVID-19 brought us back to the basics. COVID-19 in many cases brought families and the appreciation of a friendship to be valued much more seriously. There were situations that created many problems during this time, especially mentally and coping with a shut down, but in retrospect the time brought many families closer.

Christmas in such a diverse global community with social media reporting on everything means different things to different communities. The celebration which was once celebrated by everyone that l knew in the past, no longer exists. Christmas is becoming much less celebrated by all and becoming just another day for others. At one time everything was closed for Christmas. Today in some parts of the globe or in some communities, Christmas is just another day.

Religion plays a big part for many at this time of the year and for me next to Easter, it’s probably one of the most religious times for my family. In my case and for many Catholics, midnight mass was a staple for my family by having dinner on Christmas eve, a fish fest and then off to midnight mass, no matter the weather conditions. This event is a very memorable time and most enjoyable. However, the true meaning of Christmas is far from the hustle and bustle surrounding gift-giving. For many Christmas is the time of the year when we remember God’s love for humanity and spend some time reflecting on our religious beliefs.

Christmas is a time to be grateful. Many try to be nice and good to many on this day and this day only, and my gift to you is that one should be good to one another 365 days of the year and not just on December 25….giving gratitude every day is something that will come back to you in good fortune. As l tell many of my friends and colleagues, l am nice to people all the time and as l get older, l hold no grudges and favor friendship and respect.
Be nice to everyone 365 days and be grateful for today. Each Christmas that goes by is another Christmas that you will never get back.
Buon Natale a tutti!

Merry Christmas!

Vincent Black/MS

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