Despite November’s unusual balmy weather, when you walk into any store you’ll find your senses blitzed with everything Christmas. When I heard the Christmas ’50’s classic, ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’, my memories were immediately transported back in time… bringing a smile to my face. Yet, it’s as if 2015 is ancient history… time to move on to Christmas and beyond.
And, this year, it’s particularly poignant for us as we may be celebrating our last Christmas at our family farmhouse: time for others to make new memories. Across the store, my wife is buying three silver candles and replenishing some other Christmas decorations we gave away. Still, our property has many evergreens whose boughs make for a wonderful Dickensian themed Christmas: we’ll be fine.
However, the tragedy of the massive migration to Europe of Syrians and others fleeing their war-ravaged countries haunts my mind and heart.
“They talk about a life of brotherly love, show me someone who knows how to live it”
Slow Train by Bob Dylan
A brain-searing image of an aid worker lifting up a little boy’s lifeless body – three-year-old Aylan Kurdi – washed up on a Turkey seashore, galvanized the whole world to action – especially Canadians, as the family had tried to reach relatives here. His five-year-old brother, Galip, and mother Rehan also died. Only the father, Abdullah Kurdi, survived when their overcrowded boat capsized. When asked, he proudly described his children as the most beautiful in the world… waking him up every morning to play with them.
“Oh, you’re changing your heart
Oh, You know who you are”
1234 by Feist
This must be what Pope Francis meant when he said don’t be overwhelmed by the sheer number of refugees… the oppressed poor, but to look into their faces: people wanting only a better future for their children. Planting seeds of hope, not hate.
“O Siem, we are all family.
O Siem, we’re all the same.”
O Siem by Susan Aglukark
And, if these deadlocked families, never relate to ‘Christmas’, they will nevertheless feel the compassion of Canadians in their hearts, as Canada – part of a worldwide effort – implements a ‘culture of caring’: giving peace on earth a chance.
And, if we need assurances, since Paris, our RCMP and security agency CSIS have given it: Canada’s refugee rescue project is responsible. Otherwise, thousands of desperate people face yet another long, cold winter living in tent cities… even as we light our three silver candles early.
“When you look at all the injustice, it`s like a bullet to the head. And, though some things won’t change, our words must be said…
And, that’s the challenge (Would you not say?), Trying to save a world that others would throw away.”~ from ‘The Music In Me’ book by Fred Parry
Nothing can prevent us from giving the gift of Christmas early. How can we not?
Image courtesy of pixtawan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Guest Author Bio
Fred Parry lives in Southern Ontario. He is a lover of people and a collector of stories, music, wisdom, and grandchildren. His newspaper column, Music in Me, can be found in ‘The New Hamburg Independent’ Metroland Media. His book, ‘The Music In Me’ (2013) Friesen Press is Available from Amazon and Indigo / Chapters.
Blog / Website: www.fredparry.ca