• innikaria

Christmas Greetings

It has been so long since I have been able to sit down and write, and there are so many things to talk about. What a year we’ve had; the Covid virus, lockdown, quarantine, the financial and emotional stress it has brought, not to mention the impact of social distancing, the talk of vaccines and more.

But since it is the holidays, let's talk about that and the hopes that a new year always brings.

When my kids were young, it was always great fun decorating the house and enjoying their excitement for the holidays. Ikaria at Christmas is very low-key compared to other places. Gifts are mainly for the kids and actually Santa (Saint Basil) arrives here on the morning of January first!

Our tradition is always for the youngsters (until around the age 14) to go from house-to-house on Christmas Eve day singing carols, and of course collecting money they would receive as gifts. It always brings the spirit of the holidays in your home when there is a group of kids anywhere from the age of 3 to 14 knocking at your door ready to


sing.

In the afternoon, family and friends gather in homes for dinner. It is also a “name day” which is important here. So, if your name is “Christo”, “Christina”, “Manolis”, or “Emanoulla” (there may even be more that I haven’t thought of) you can expect people to come by to also wish you a “happy name day”.

We always considered Christmas to be a kind of roving holiday. By that I mean, after we have all eaten and had some wine together we start our tour of visits. Our first is usually to our uncle Christo where there will be people coming and going all night. His place is often our first and last visit of the day! Needless to say, this year will be very dif


ferent.

Despite the changes we face this Christmas, it is important to remember the meaning of the day which sadly we seem to forget. Family, whether by blood or by bonds is what is most important. Friendships, health, love, a beautiful sunset and all the blessings we tend to take for granted each day is what I try to be aware of on Christmas day, especially this year.

Our gifts to ourselves and to each other is gratitude, that’s what I’ll be feeling when I look at my family and friends this year – truly feeling the gratitude for all the love in my life. The rest will surely pass, but that filling of our heart of love will be constant.

To be honest, I also find myself a bit melancholy around the holidays. If you watch too much television or pay too much attention to the commercials that are constantly encouraging the ecstasy we should be feeling by shopping! It always misses the point, and I don't know about you but that is definitely not my reality. This year has brought what is most important into focus.

This year, I’m also thinking of those who have go


ne and family or friends that are far away, or people that I have lost touch with. Past Christmases when we were younger, feel much simpler. Time seems to be going too fast. My husband's attitude to the holidays is always refreshing to me. He always says; “it doesn't have to be a holiday for us to make it a holiday.” I like his way of thinking! As we bring the year to a close, I wish for us all to bring what’s special about the holidays into the everyday. With all that said, I wish you a very joyful Christmas, full of love and happiness!


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