Opinion: A reminder of what really matters at Christmas
- Alyson Bear | December 22, 2017
As Christmas time approaches and life gets expensive and hectic as well as exciting to have some days off, we need to remember what Christmas is really about. It is about family, community and about giving and a time to be selfless.
Christmas can be a hard time of the year, especially on the bank accounts. A lot of people feel like they cannot afford Christmas but it isn’t just about gifts. Christmas is about spending your time with and on the people who matter most, your grandparents, your parents, your children, nephews and nieces. A memory can last forever and materialistic objects are usually tossed to the bottom of the toy box and usually forgotten.
If your children are only thinking about the gifts here is a tip to remind them to give back, perhaps if you have overflowing toys and clothes teaching your children to give to those who need during this time and in return receiving something special from Santa on Christmas day.
I remember as a little girl my Kunsi Rose (Grandmother in Dakota) every single year right up until her last year she was here, as she has now passed on. She had a gift for every single one of her grandchildren and there is a lot of us. I have big family on my dad’s side and a lot of cousins and every year at Christmas and for every holiday my grandma would have us all over and come together and cook for all of us and no one has ever made a meal like my Kunsi. She was known for her cooking throughout the community and we all miss and love her and that is exactly why we need to come together as family and try to put any differences aside and remember where we come from. Sometimes it is hard to reach out to family especially if it has been a while but sometimes this is the time when someone would love to hear from you and see you, with a little Christmas magic in your favor.
Christmas also turns into a time where a lot of adults are drinking with Christmas parties and holidays and drinking and driving also becomes an issue. As a victim from a drinking and driving accident where I had nearly lost my life, let me tell you it is not worth it. There are many other ways to get home safe so be responsible. There is definitely no need to take a life or lose yours or harm somebody or yourself with irreversible consequences.
As well as minding your drinking so you are not letting down someone young who looks up to you and creating memories that are irreversible for someone who does not deserve it if you are not going to show up do not say you will period. As my daughters get older I worry about the let downs I have experienced and no child deserves to be lied to and feel the emotions that comes with being let down.
This year has been a big year for me as I started law school at University of British Columbia in the fall. I did a quick switch around and have been attending law school at the University of Saskatchewan after the first three weeks, because of some unforeseen events that seem to happen far too often in our complicated First Nation lives.
I had another awakening during this time of transitions and realized the true importance of family and community and how important it is for my children to have their uncles, papa, nana, koko’s, kunsi’s, chapan’s, and community in their lives supporting us, while I continue reaching for the stars and chasing my dreams. Go home, remember who you are where you come from, be grateful for life, do not waste precious time and moments on things and people who do not matter as much as the people who truly love and adore you and have had your back through thick and thin, family.
A little Christmas reminder to make it through the holidays, do not forget our peoples seven sacred teachings of wisdom, love, respect, courage, humility, honesty and truth. Be true to who you are and things will fall into place. If you are feeling alone remember our ancestors walk with us as our people always prayed to the seven generations and it is never too late to turn things around. Take care of yourself, love and respect yourself and treat yourself and those around you how you want to be treated. Happy holidays and please be safe out there.