The joys and sadness on this day
Today is the day that the nation awaits all year. It is the day when children all over the world smile because either their parents or some benevolent organization gave them something that actually brightened their lives. No child should be without a toy at Christmas time so there was a massive drive by so many to ensure that the children smiled.
But while they are smiling there are those who are in tears because some disaster occurred during the year that left a space at the meal-time table. And there were many of those. Some died in road accidents, some were killed by the criminal elements as they went about their livelihood and some died at the hands of their spouses.
There were also some who died in fires that destroyed their property and in the case of the household, Christmas is so grim that the people cannot contemplate any form of enjoyment. Just two months ago a fire destroyed the home of a woman on the lower East Coast Demerara. She was proud to know that her home had every little thing to make life comfortable.
Today she is waking up in conditions far removed from being comfortable and sickened that she may never be able to replace what she had acquired during her earlier years. However, the hardest hit would be the children whose parents died horribly. No less than two dozen women were killed by their spouses this year.
In some cases the assailant took his own life but for the greater part, he is in police custody pending trial for the crime he committed. Most of us never had to get up on Christmas Day knowing that one parent is dead and the other is in jail; few among us can appreciate the trauma of being plucked from the comfort of our own home to live in the home of a relative who is already hard pressed to make ends meet.
In these pages there is a story of some children having to spend Christmas without their parents who were simply removed from the home without warning. Not only was that traumatic for the parents, Bruce and Carol Munroe, but it was more so for the children who had grown accustomed to a tradition. Change is never readily accepted.
But the season is also about glad tidings. From, early November the radio station had been filling the airwaves with those tunes heard only at this time of the year. The rush to beautify the home would come later. Up to late last night the streets in the city were choked with people, some seeking bargains and others merely enjoying the atmosphere that is actually the spirit of Christmas.
And this spirit brought out the best in some people. It is often said that Guyanese are a generous people. Christmas brings out that generosity. In the market place, strangers paid the difference in prices for items that someone needed; vendors dropped a few dollars because they saw themselves as making a contribution to the spirit of the season and at the same time helping someone who actually needed help at the time.
This is the time of year when the business community earns about fifty per cent of its gross annual earning. To achieve this, most brought in those things that would catch the eye and enhance sales. Today the business people are counting their takings and some are already setting their eye on this time next year.
But one should not forget the reason for this season. Christians believe that their savior was born on this day and to commemorate they are going to include the religious aspect of the occasion to the joy and merriment that the majority would seek.
There was a time when the church bells pealed to herald in the day. While this may still be the case in some communities it is not as widespread because the younger replacements simply cannot be bothered with such trivia.
The bottom line is that this day is going to be full of merriment and we wish that no disaster befalls anyone.
Merry Christmas to all.