In the Christmas Spirit

A niece of mine, who lives in Naples, Florida sent us a gift basket with bottles of wine, nougats, and other sweets, as well as food.

By Irina Pino

HAVANA TIMES – I posted some vintage Christmas postcards on Facebook today to wish good things to my family and friends. Practicing universal love would be the best maxim to have a healthy planet.

This Christmas Eve will not be as precarious as the previous ones, a niece of mine, who lives in Naples, Florida sent us a gift basket with bottles of wine, nougats, and other sweets, as well as food. We are grateful and happy, although not totally, because almost all of mine live in exile in the USA. Communicating through WhatsApp helps us feel less alone.

I remember an image from my youth. I see my sister and me, looking for dry branches in the flower beds to put together a Christmas tree. She would put cotton, colored balls, gift boxes, light bulbs, cat’s tail, and a golden star on the tip of it. There was joy because the whole family got together.

Starting in the 1960s, celebrating Christmas was frowned upon in our country, it was alleged by the leaders that it was a bourgeois festivity. Many people did it secretly at home, trying not to let the neighborhood watch committee (CDR) find out, because it could mean trouble. When someone snitched that we were celebrating it, they asked us if we were leaving the country.

During the visit of Pope John Paul II, in 1998, the commemoration was reinstated at his request, there were more faithful attending the churches, and it meant an opening. By the way, I was in the street to see him go by in the popemobile. I saw it very close up.

If we have creative ideas, we can make our own Christmas, putting allegories at home, listening to Christmas carols, but the most important thing is to catch the Christmas spirit, to feel in harmony.

But my desire goes further, I would like a country free of exclusions, where equity prevails among Cubans, where there is no animal abuse, or abandoned creatures in the streets.

Living in an environment of tolerance, where differences are respected, without the fragmentation of the family due to economic problems.

And most importantly: that bridges be built, bridges for dialogue, as Christ did, who spoke to everyone and listened to them too.

Read more from the diary of Irina Pino here.

2 thoughts on “In the Christmas Spirit

  • well said

  • For those who have a personal relationship with God, as a believer in Jesus, His resurrection and gift to us of the Holy Spirit to be our guide through life, God hears your prayers, and sees your struggles daily. DO not despair.. Irma. He is always with you each step of the way. So Christmas can be openly celebrated again, the true meaning of Christmas , the birth of the Saviour , the Messiah, that can and should be celebrated. What God has in store for Cuba, no one but Him knows.. But all things come together for the good for those who love and put their faith in God.

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