Our Belen hardly bears comparison with the one in town or indeed with some of those you find in other people’s houses. Even our little stable scene though is a reminder to us of what Christmas should really be about – a celebration of the birth of Christ.
Sad to say that the pagan festival has largely taken over from the religious theme in Britain helped in no small part by over sensitive political correctness on the part of some.
In order not to offend Muslims etc. many towns in England have decided to omit the word Christmas from any official notices and use the term Season’s Greetings instead. Even the traditional cards that people send lean more towards the pagan festival than the Christmas theme these days. If this process continues then I can well see that carols will have to be banned and all those cheesy songs will have to be re-written omitting the word Christmas. “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” will become “I’m dreaming of a white winter festival” etc etc.
Here in Spain, the religious significance of Christmas is still managing to hold on as witnessed by the banners that people put outside their houses. In this Catholic country, the pagan feast is held on New Year followed by the Three Kings on the 6th. However there are growing signs even in Spain that Christmas as a present giving time is catching on. Papa Noel is year by year making inroads into the role traditionally performed by the Three Kings. You see a growing number of Santas climbing up ladders trying to get into people’s houses.
One of the results of this is there are some greedy children and over indulgent parents who want to play it both ways having presents both on Christmas Day and on the 6th for the Three Kings. The same applies in Britain where many Muslim children expect gifts for Eid and then for Christmas. That is like having your cake and eating it – not on.
Be assured in Casa El Willo, Christmas will still be called Christmas and we will continue to have presents on the 25th rather than on the 6th January. Whilst we will watch the parade in town, in our house, the Three Kings are on their way home by the beginning of January.