Posted by: Reginald Cyntje | December 4, 2009


I remember…One Christmas I asked for a bike and Christmas morning there was a brand new BMX waiting on me. I remember how I felt every year at Christmas time as a kid.

I remember celebrating in church then going home to open presents. I remember visiting family, eating and singing the guava berry song. I remember getting excited about watching Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Charlie Brown Christmas and other Holiday specials.

I remember changing the sheets to all the beds in the house, staying up late with my mother as she sowed new curtains and cleaning the house late at night so it could be fresh for Christmas morning.

Christmas became something special for me. The family time, the celebration, the songs, the feeling and the giving became something I treasured.

As I grew, the meaning change. I became more aware of the negative side of what people associate with Christmas.

When I became an adult I began my research. Why December 25? Why Santa Clause? Why Christmas trees? Why gifts? Why commercialism?

I stumbled upon the history of the catholic church. Their quest to bring more people to the church meant that they would change the birth date of Jesus Christ to align with the winter solstice/birth date of the “Pagan” God. I discovered many negative stories of Santa Claus, the Christmas tree and Commercialism. I did not look at Christmas the same for years. I was aware and felt naked.

My sons were born and last year they found great excitement in the festivities of Christmas. Every time we visited a family member that had a Christmas tree their eyes lit up. They never ask me about Christmas but they enjoyed celebrating with others.

I told them that many of our holidays (holydays) came from the celebration of the winter solstice. The shortest day gave life to the great harvest, personal renewal and gift giving. I also found a way to explain the history of the winter solstice tree. They have a basic understanding of various cultures.

This year I got a Christmas tree (Winter solstice tree) and I’m planning to celebrate different traditions (Christmas and Kwanzaa) with them this season. They have brought back an excitement I had when I was a kid.

My son says “Daddy you are my Santa Claus because you always surprise me.”

Happy Holidays to you and your family.



  1. Very sweet…I still think playing Christmas Carols on your trombone with a Santa hat would be cute,lol. Or simply get the Nat King Cole CD…awesome. Go the Abersol Christmas collection..

  2. I remember the excitement of Christmas in our house growing up as well…. my most valued memory was when we would all fall asleep by the christmas tree waiting for additional presents to be placed under the tree… I also remembered daddy telling us that Santa Clause would come through the balcony because we didn’t have chimney… I love that both mommy and daddy kept the magic of Christmas alive for us… I will try to do the same when I have kids…

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