It’s that time of year once more; time for stressful preparation, infused with anticipation for a few happy days of embracing the people with love.
To say that all people enter the holidays full of joy and excitement is nowhere near the truth. For some this time of year is a reminder of loved ones lost or fond memories, and for others a reminder of troubling solitude.
We need to be considerate of those people and if we can, include them in our own celebration.
I am one of those who is lucky enough to be surrounded by people who love me and care about me. Yes, we have our ups and downs and our political inclinations are far apart. But we care about one another and in the end, we accommodate one another’s views.
In Iceland, this time of year is the coldest (and will remain cold for months to come) and the darkest. We flee into the warmth of our decorated homes, whether they be colorful and marvelous, casting a light bright enough for passing bystanders to enjoy, or simple and quiet.
In Iceland, this time of year is the time for a feast with delicious flavors to cheer the palates.
In Iceland, the culinary traditions surrounding this time of year are salty and overpowering. Smoked lamb and pork served in one family feast after another. For those of us with different ideas of what counts for a good meal, there’s good news.
My partner and I opt for organic chicken, roasted vegetables and fried potato wedges on Christmas day. We keep it nice and simple as we prefer that day to be a day of rest. We walk our darling dog Emma and, if possible, meet up with our friends in the neighborhood, whose dogs are in need of a bit of playtime.
On Christmas eve, we enjoy dinner with my family, my parents and sisters and their partners and families.
It’s on December 23 that my holiday season really begins. I enjoy the mood and the spirited excitement the day before Christmas. The city center is full of people, some still shopping for the last presents and others simply there to enjoy the wonderful holiday atmosphere.
Whatever this holiday season brings, I will remember that not everybody welcomes this time of year cheerfully.
I must not forget the thousands of people who are living in refugee camps. Regardless of whether this is a holiday they celebrate or not, it’s not right that they suffer the way they have up until now.
We should wish the people who are not able to celebrate the joy we experience in our hearts, regardless of their religion or lack thereof.I wish you all a very happy holiday season!
And let’s hope that the world will be a little more peaceful, if only for a few days.
Júlíana Björnsdóttir – [email protected]