Greg: Thank you for the opportunity to share. My mind goes back to the old times when I was a young boy during the Christmas season. Every Christmas Day, I wore my monkey jacket, a tie, and coat for church service. Besides going to Church, another holiday routine for me was to visit all three of my aunts and my two uncles as well as friends and neighbors. The part I enjoyed most was playing with my siblings. For me, Christmas also means feasting, especially my mother’s apple pie and pumpkin soup, the best in the world. I took a volunteer mission last year in Lagos, Nigeria and this has affected my Christmas plans. I cannot return home because of the Covid-19 situation and travel limitations from Africa. I miss my parents, relatives, and friends back home and my mother’s hug and cooking, she still cooks at the age of 87. My prayers go to those who cannot be at home with their loved ones during this holiday season. May our best wishes travel far enough to those we care for and love.
Leslie: My favorite time of year is Christmas. Every year my parents would take us to the Christmas Fair where thousands of people taste all kinds of holiday food, buy arts and crafts, enjoy live music, and play all sorts of games, such as the bouncy castle, horse riding, and taking a picture with Santa Claus. I used to wait for a long time in line to receive the gift from Santa, and that was the most exciting moment when Santa gave me a big hug. Until today I have never questioned Santa, whether real or just a holiday figure; for me, Santa means a joyful childhood, unconditional love, pure happiness, and unforgettable memories. Santa is not just a man wearing an oversized costume that makes him look like a five-year-old wearing big man’s shoes. Santa Claus is part of my growing up and learning to live and love others. I am over thirty now, but I wouldn’t be who I am today without Christmas and without Santa Claus.
Neil: As an Indian American, Christmas became the day of the year when I was constantly stressed out. I had to stay in my office very late to do the work for my colleagues that were traveling home for Christmas Eve to be with their families. I also slept late so that at midnight I could say “Happy Christmas” to my American boss, supervisors, managers, and peers. I would eventually go to bed without taking a shower, changing clothes, or brushing my teeth on Christmas eve. I don’t understand why Americans have so much fun in the Christmas holiday with a fake Santa story and materialist desires. I enjoy the decorative streetlights and the community events of the holiday season, especially the picnics, parties, donations to homeless people, and the big discounts in the department store sales. I buy most of my clothes and shoes during the holiday shopping season. Honestly, I have never missed any black-Friday shopping event since I came to America.
Sharon: I love Christmas with my heart and soul. For me, regardless of being a child, a youth, adult, man, woman, race, nationality, or color, Christmas is a season of love, care, unity, and sharing. In my hometown, Manhattan, Kansas, the weather added a Christmas feel, and the snowman occupied my childhood memory. I felt like a character out of my favorite Hollywood movie, “Home Alone,” that resonated with my Christmas excitement and adventures. I enjoyed walking into a shop and hearing a song playing, then walking into another shop with the same song playing, without feeling bored at all. It has become a custom for businesses to put up Christmas lights and decorations with the silly inbuilt Christmas tunes playing in the background.
Joyce: Christmas means various things to different people from different parts of the world, but for me, one thing is universal: Christmas is one of the most critical events in human history, that God was coming down to the planet earth in the form of a human, the Baby Jesus, who was born that makes Christmas a celebration season for everyone. Thank you, Susan, for honoring the most important holiday on the planet at your “Touch Your Heart” blog center. I pray for you, your family, and for your readers; a Merry Christmas to you all and a happy New Year!
Tammy: To me, Christmas means family. My hard-working parents raised six of us, five sons and me. Every Christmas season, we all go home to the countryside of Florida for the holiday celebration with my parents, and the six of us have turned into 18 over the years. My parents live in a small farmhouse with no air conditioning and no fan; they refused our money and support to upgrade the house. 20 people sleeping in a four-bedroom house, including my parents and two dogs, is a big challenge. I am always amazed about how we all manage to fit in with the wall-to-wall mattresses; if it isn’t the kitchen, bathroom or toilet, everyone finds a spot and there are no assigned rooms. The fascinating thing is that nobody complains at all during our holiday gathering. We had nothing but happiness, love, and laughs. My mother cooks the whole day, and my father laughs all the time. That is the happiness I understand. Christmas is the day I cry, not for sadness but for pure joy and satisfaction.
To Be Continued.