Today and tomorrow the majority of the western world celebrate Christmas. Here in Israel, for most, it is just a day like every other. Growing up Jewish in Denmark, we never really celebrated Christmas, except for a few years that my paternal grandmother went “all in”. Living in a country where almost everyone around you does celebrate the holiday, made us incorporate certain aspects of it, because of culture and because of “hygge” (click on link to previous post for explanation).
We did normally have a Christmas tree (and my parents still do), decorated with all sorts of home-made decorations, that my sister and I brought home from kindergarten and school. We did normally have some kind of family dinner, because anyway it is a day (or three) off so why not enjoy the company of each other?
Looking at Christmas from the outside in showed me two sides of the story. On one hand, it is a beautiful holiday, the decorations, the atmosphere and the traditions. On the other hand, I was happy that we weren’t a part of the stress of entertaining, keeping up of rituals and the huge gift buying race many entered in the days before.
I was different and my family was different, but I don’t remember it as being some hugely important for me. Would I be a little bit jealous when my friends would show me the huge amount of gifts they received every year? Sure, but I guess that is natural for a child.
Today I live in a country where I am like most when it comes to holidays and traditions and still I am different. Different because I grew up somewhere else. Different because I have an accent and make lingual mistakes once in a while. Different because I grew in a totally different culture. And I am ok with it.
I am ok with it, because today I know that different means diversity. It means that I have experienced very different things and learned many different things, and I hope that all that has made me a more accomplished person (and I really do hope! ;-)).
Others may seem to be smarter, prettier, wealthier, faster, more organized or more successful, but you are you and that is the most important thing!