This year, my family and I hosted my in-laws (to be) for Christmas, probably a rare event that both families can be together during the holidays, but we thought it would be a nice time and occasion for both families to meet and get to know each other before the wedding. My parents invited them to LA, since we will be going to France for the wedding (where my husband-to-be and in-laws are from), which was a doubly good idea because it’s a good opportunity for them to see where their son is living and give them a taste of what his life is like here—I think it’s also reassurance for them that their son is surrounded by love here.
As I was thinking about two families with their own Christmas traditions coming together, and us starting our own traditions, I thought about all the families around the world celebrating Christmas with their own new and old traditions. Such exciting and warm images turned in my head, and I asked my friends and family around the world to send me pictures of Christmas from wherever they were. It was so fun going from beautiful sun and beaches in Colombia, to snow falling on Red Square in Moscow, bright lights in Taipei, friends celebrating together in Amsterdam, Kiwis of Ukrainian descent dancing around the Christmas tree, a Roman Christmas, and Spanish pancakes!
Then as we watched the Boxing Day Premiere League games, the image of the kaleidoscope beauty in our world continued to grow in my mind and inspired hope in my heart. While the Boxing Day games are uniquely English, fans around the world tune in to root on their team (like me for Man United). Moreover, the players come from different countries and add to the richness of culture. To me, this coming together from different parts of the world and walks of life, this enjoyment and celebration of the same thing by people from different parts of the world and walks of life is something so wonderful. It’s something our world does not lack, but sometimes we need a reminder to appreciate such beauty and recognize that it exists.
Despite all the horrible things going on in the world, there’s much to appreciate in our families and friends, and our neighbours who bring cultural differences and similarities. I think of them like all the different coloured Christmas lights, a brilliant reminder of joy and hope that starts in our homes and spreads to our neighbours’ homes…if we so dare.
As we step into the new year, I dare you to take the warmth in your home, out to your neighbours, because who knows what brilliance we may ignite.
BIG LOVE & HUGS