Christmas is a special time of year. It’s celebrated differently in different countries and cultures around the world. For everyone, Christmas has its own unique meaning and experience.
I’m originally from Australia, and the Christmas experience is quite different down under in the southern hemisphere as compared to what it’s like in the northern hemisphere. Dreaming of a “White Christmas” is completely out of the question, especially in the sweltering heat of a Sydney Summer where it can be 38 °C/100 °F. You are more likely to be dreaming of going to the beach or a pool and having an Aussie Christmas picnic there.
Growing up from when I was a little girl, I was always fascinated by the concept of snow and reindeers at Christmas time. While it was totally inconceivable based upon the Sydney weather, it nonetheless had a magical and ethereal quality about it when I would read books and see movies with these types of images.
As an adult, I got to fly to numerous northern hemisphere countries around the world during Christmas time and had the pleasure of experiencing snow on a couple of occasions.
My first experience of snow during Christmas was in London, one late afternoon as I was walking across town. It began snowing and soft powdery flakes appeared out the sky, completely silent as they fell to the ground. It was so beautiful to be a witness to this marvel of Nature. I stopped walking for a few minutes and gazed up in awe at the sky, feeling the soft gentle caress of the snowflakes as they fell on my face.
Probably my most memorable experience was when I was in Sapporo in Japan. It was well below -5 °C and upon arriving at our hotel, it was snowing so hard, that in a 30-meter walk from our bus to the entrance of the hotel, we were covered in thick white snow looking like Santa Clause himself! Walking around outside over the next 2 days, I was thigh-high in snow. It was almost 3 feet deep, so of course being in this “Winter Wonderland” we got to throw snowballs at each other, I made a snow angel and a Snowman decorated with items that the hotel very kindly gave me. It was truly delightful!
The next day I flew to Cairns in Far North Queensland in Australia where it was a scorching 40 °C. I switched from being deeply immersed in snow to being in a bikini, deeply immersed underwater in the hotel pool, trying to cool off.
Christmas is a great time for communion with the Divine, for family get-togethers and eating good food, for sharing quality time with loved ones, for being more compassionate and caring, for gift giving and for forgiving. It’s a time when people just seem “kinder” to each other as they remember what celebrating this special day is really all about. It’s a time when we get to come together in gratitude that a unique and wondrous child of God, the “Christ Child” was born to serve the betterment of all of mankind.
Wherever you are in the world, and however you celebrate this holiday, take a moment to remember the miracle of this time and how you can make each and every day just like Christmas.
May the light of Divine Grace always shine brightly upon you.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!