And so, it’s Christmas: tree fruitful of light; eating like there’s no tomorrow; bells and candles on green/red towels; aunt “Carmem” (I think everyone should have an aunt called like this) with that elevator talk about the speed of time; crazy kids with thin Santa Claus with a strange voice; Macaulay Culkin.
I celebrate this Christmas far from my owns and, even though I felt “saudade”, I can find some similarities (except the omnipresence of the raisin that, to my delight, have gone far). Whether it’s here or there, in this date which seems like everything is in slow motion – with a musical background from Simone or Roberto Carlos, customer choice – certain things do not change and good feelings surface in the same way, as well as the desire to be someone better, to make the world a better place, to live better.
Maybe because Christmas is internal, it’s “inside out”, it’s behind the scenes, it happens where no one sees. Christmas is nothing more than rebirth within ourselves. If not, it’s just champagne and fireworks. “Actually, it flew, this year flew”, in the background, Uncle Darci responds.
However, today a phrase made my Christmas with refugees find another meaning:
“Mr. Gabriel, it’s Christmas today and it’s an important date for you, Christians. So I have a gift. “
An refugee gift
8 months ago Amadou was just one among thousands of unaccompanied minors arriving every day in the Italian ports. He pulled me out of the corner and, sheepishly, handed me a pencil drawing on a small piece of paper cut out of one of the activities I’d been doing the week before. The draw: me, your teacher and friend. Sorry Dad and Mon, but Amadou’s gift was able to beat that 1996 Super Nintendo.
2017 years later, with the purity of his gesture, Amadou made hope reborn in my heart, a feeling so necessary on a date that, in its most genuine sense, preaches almost everything contrary to what this year represented in the great gestures of humanity: walls, bombs, distancing, intolerance.
However, I am a little more Amadou today! Not because it will bring a 2018 without bizarre and human stupidity. But somehow, it is still good to remember that we are here and, despite the regrets, this should never be for nothing.
I’m a little more Amadou because that makes me much more human! In search of security, fleeing from wars, persecutions, hunger and misery, he is one of many “Jesus´s” who continue to seek their manger. With his simple gesture of drawing his teacher, Amadou showed me that it is in the simplicity that Jesus was born and it is in the simplicity that we continue to find him, even though, on the way, Aunt “Carmem” tightens our cheeks.