As I sit here listening to the heavy, tropical rains outside, thinking about the summer time Christmas in Brasil, missing my children and grandchildren and the winter time Christmas in the USA, and knowing what I do about how the different branches of mine and Camillo’s families celebrate the holidays, I realize that Christmas here is the same that it is worldwide. There is not anything spectacularly different with Christmas in Brasilian to show you. There is just the knowledge that wherever Christmas is celebrated, be it in the North or the South, the East or the West, that the celebration is about families.
As the years pass, and I am more and more familiar with the holidays here in Brasil, I have notices that the outward signs: the decorated trees, the streets lined in bright lights, the gifts wrapped in increasingly more elaborate, more expensive papers, have become more commercial, but the core celebration here is still about families gathering, eating traditional meals, playing holiday music, and keeping the children occupied with games that all the family members play.
And it seems to me that the traditions are not so different from place to place, country to country. Whether it be at my sister’s in Michigan or Camillo’s sister’s in Rome, my daughter’s in Houston or the apartment of Camillo’s son in Rio there will be a decorated tree, maybe it’s a (an artificial) pine tree in the front window or a grand pine planted by your great grand parents in the front yard; maybe the tradition is the heirloom nativity scene on the fireplace mantle, or your favorite father Christmas from Germany or the elaborate angel sewn by your mother, these symbols of our families’ love for one another, surviving over time and distance, will be throughout all our home, around the world.