It is the time of year when we all remember it as the season of goodwill right? So when my daughter kept giving me broad hints about what she wanted for the Christmas celebration, I sighed wondering how I was going to communicate to her what the real Christmas was supposed to be.
All those nativity scenes and movies she kept watching was not doing the thing I wanted to pass across. I had noticed that each time I patted the seat beside me and asked her that we should chat she would become restless and remember something she needed to do in her room. Hmm , her room had become some kind of fortress these days. She was always hiding in there. I did not want to invade her privacy as I am a stickler for privacy myself, I could snoop in there. I asked myself the question, why would I snoop in her room? I didn’t like that picture of myself so I waited.
This afternoon, I was checking my old box of memorabilia that I always took with me and my hand struck my piggy bank. A smile came across my face as I gently stroked it and I knew I would start bawling in a minute as I remember my dad. He was my hero and I could never stop talking about the things he taught me even with his silences and his silent trust of me. The piggy bank started with him asking me to drop whatever tips his friends who came round gave me. He said I might be surprised what I would have saved by the end of the year. He said he would give me the interest toad to it. We made a pact and he gave me the piggy bank. If I was sent on errands by his friends, they would tend to ask me to keep the change. That went into my bank. Some days I would sit and daydream that angels would fill up the bank for me. Other times, dad would give me a smile if I had made some really good grades and hand me some coins to put in my bank.
Each year by the beginning of the third quarter he would order for clothes for the children. He did not like the rush towards Christmas. So usually as the last month came round, I was always in a fever of impatience to have the chance to put on my new clothes and go visit friends and relatives.
As this particular Christmas approached I kept hinting to dad that I would love to have “bisco’ you know the glittering sticks we burned at Christmas, I was not into bangers and the noise but I loved bisco and would stare at the glittering showers imagining I was seeing stars come and go.
However dad’s question was very surprising.
What is Christmas for?
It is the birthday of Jesus dad, we all know that
Hmmm… so what are you getting him for his birthday then?
I stared, then stammered. He is not here dad, he is in heaven
Is that why we can’t give him a birthday present? We pray to him don’t we every morning?
I slowed down and gave my dad a puzzled look
He smiled, that very special smile of his and wondered if Jesus might not like me giving Ahmed the little boy next door a football for Christmas.
He is a Muslim dad and he doesn’t celebrate Christmas
He is God’s creature my son, and Jesus is neither Christian nor Muslim but the incarnate Love of the Creator. You think we might just give Jesus a lovely birthday gift of love which we show to our neighbor whoever they are wherever they maybe.
Your neighbor is just a thought away and it is faster than the second.
I knocked on my daughter’s bedroom door as I sent a prayer of thanks to dad for his Christmas gift