Letters to the Editor

Re-wrap Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Christmas, once a tradition passed down to the Christianised slaves from their slave masters, has interwoven itself into the very fabric of Jamaica's culture. Many associate Christmas with the infant child saviour who came to save His people from their sins.

While most have come to recognise there is more mas' than Christ in the season's celebrations, they continue to celebrate it for the youngsters or out of tradition.

Christmas celebrations have been overshadowed by Santa in his Valentine's day suit, sleigh of helpers, sacks of gifts, as well as shades of family time and the spreading of kindness and good cheer, leaving very little room for the Christ infant supposedly born in the dead of winter.

Even the Bible didn't mention the exact date of Christ's birth. What was revealed, though, are clues as to when he was born, and winter is most unlikely. It's possible this detail was hidden because the issue is not when Christ was born but the life He lived and the example He left. So, whose birth are you celebrating?

For most, Christmas is a mere commercial holiday. But how is this profiting Jamaica? Who is profiting? Have we become slaves to Backra's traditions? What if we were to place just as much emphasis on February, Black History month? We could celebrate the life and achievements of our ancestors and have cultural events, school trips to historic sites, as well as plays and shows depicting our history. Special attention placed on teaching students about their past. The national dress, bandana, should be worn on every Friday of the month in schools, workplaces and within all areas of our society. Businesses would have special offers and discounts all month long and symbolically cut black people some slack. It would be an ideal time to place emphasis on black unity. Projects could also target those most oppressed by the side effects of slavery. It would be a time to reflect on the accomplishments of our past, examine our present, and use the positives and our strengths to plan for the nation's future.

Just some food for thought. Don't choke on it, chew it slowly and thoughtfully.

Janeen Taylor


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