We really don’t have too many instances of chestnuts roasting on an open fire (I do mine in the oven) nor the sound of sleigh bells ringing unless you brought some and hung them up on the door to announce the arrival of guests and Santa. These days Santa has to use the door as not many of us have a chimney.
Christmas has changed thanks to new technologies and mass marketing. These days, it’s rare to get a handmade gift crafted by a loved one, though we hear some still make moccasins but it’s not the norm.
With the Covid pandemic, it’s made Christmas lonely for many. The large gatherings and raucous Christmas office parties just aren’t acceptable anymore. For those of us in the south we have to have a FaceTime, Zoom or social media exchange of greetings. That leaves much to be desired. Not being able to go home last year was hard on many of us. Christmas was always the time to get together with family and friends we hadn’t seen for most of the year.
We’re thankful that this year we might be able to return to Eeyou Istchee since we are double vaccinated. Luckily many of us are. The Nation encourages everyone to do so as to not harm others.
We also encourage Crees to attach sleigh bells to their snowmobiles and ATVs to let everyone know the Christmas spirit is still alive in the North. Another way of keeping the spirit alive is to share. Many communities have food banks and we encourage you to be generous. After all, many community members haven’t seen the levels of employment we had previous to the pandemic and are hurting. Along with the food banks you can donate toys to make a child’s Christmas a little brighter.
Some communities have an Elders feast and if everyone donates a little country food it would make them feel a whole lot better. In the past, these Elders shared their country food with others who couldn’t hunt – be they Elders, widows and single parents. It’s time to give back, especially at this time of year.
And don’t forget to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. There are people who need to hear that and the smile hidden behind a mask can always be seen in the eyes. It could make all the difference in the world to them. Christmas isn’t known as suicide season for nothing and reaching out to those and letting them know they aren’t alone can make a difference. Let’s make sure it’s something that is not going to happen at home in Eeyou Istchee.
Christmas may have changed but let’s make those traditions of sharing, caring and love for your fellow man or woman something that we will still hold close to our way of life.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice and Happy Holidays to one and all from all of us here at the Nation and Beesum Communications.