Blogmas Day 7: What Christmas Means To Me

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Hi, I'm Tanya!

Merry Christmas Eve to you! I’m back with day seven and the last of blogmas. I initially wanted to do 12 days, but I didn’t get to, but I am proud that I was able to do at least seven days. 

This post is going to be all about what Christmas means to me. I’ve had some time to sit and reflect on how this year has been and what it means to me to celebrate Christmas. 

I’ve always loved Christmas time ever since I’ve known myself. Christmas was a time where spirits were lifted and brought an absolute joy that I never had the months prior. Christmas is a time of the year to give back and be merry.

Christmas to me means the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. I mean, that’s what I’ve been told in Sunday school ever since I’ve been a little girl, and it’s something I still believe. I’m a church girl at heart. Other than that, Christmas means togetherness and unity. It’s a time where my family gets together and celebrate each other. It’s the one time of the year where we all get together, those who are near and far all come together for this one day. FOOD, who can forget food lol. Christmas is all about eating. Overall, Christmas means love, joy, and happiness to me. This year, unfortunately, I won’t be with my family back in Antigua like I initially planned, but I am grateful that I still have two of my siblings here with me to celebrate the best way we possibly can. I know for many this holiday season is looking a lot different, but I want to encourage you to find something that brings you joy no matter how big or small it may be; once it brings you joy, DO IT!

Here’s how I celebrate Christmas back in my country (Antigua).

The church plays a significant role in our Christmas celebration. There are Christmas plays both in the schools and church, and food is also a major part of our celebration. There’s a particular food that you only eat around Christmas time. Just like Turkey is the star of Thanksgiving in the US, ham is the star of our Christmas in Antigua, and Sorrel drink is the favored drink of the season. Celebrating with friends and family is how we ultimately celebrate Christmas. For my family and me, watching Lebron James take on whichever team in the NBA on Christmas day has become a tradition of ours and, of course, playing many cards and board games, opening gifts, and drinking some ponche Kuba (this is similar to Coquito).

I also developed another tradition, and that’s giving back to the community. Every year I volunteer at the rescue mission, and every holiday season, I assist in serving those in the low-income communities food and other care packages. This is ultimately one of my favorite things to do during this time.

I know 2020 has been a whirlwind of emotional roller coasters, and many people have lost so much this year. Finding the joys and spirit of the holiday season may be all that some of us have left to get through the rest of the year.

In my recent podcast episode, I spoke with psychiatry resident Dr. Atasha Jordan about navigating our mental health during the holidays. You can listen to the episode here. I hope it helps you to find some joy during this season.

Merry Christmas and have a happy and safe holiday! I will be celebrating Christmas, eating good food, watching a basketball game and a few Christmas movies, and then going to work because I’m an essential worker (no days off over here).

What does Christmas mean to you? Do you have any Christmas traditions? Let me know in the comments below!

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