I love Christmas. LOVE IT. I love the lights and the sparkle. I love the wreaths and the tinsel. I love Christmas carols. I love how everything smells like pine and cinnamon. I love Christmas cookies and peppermint hot chocolate. I love the surprises and the anticipation.
Unfortunately, Guinea can be a difficult place to get your Christmas fix. It’s a Muslim country so for most people Christmas isn’t on the radar. Those who do celebrate Christmas generally do it pretty quietly – being one of the poorest countries in the world, Guinea certainly can’t support the insane levels of commercialization of the holiday you see in the States. After paying for food and shelter and school fees, for most people there’s not a lot left over for Christmas light extravaganzas (or reliable enough power to make them run).
I know, I know, the decorating is not the point. But dammit, I LIKE that stuff! The weekend after Thanksgiving I got out my Christmas box. I clipped the stockings on the freezer and put out a tablecloth and a centerpiece on the dining room table. And then I thought, crestfallen, “oh. I guess that’s it.” After last year’s incident I am without a Christmas tree, which represented the majority of my seasonal decorating, and it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without one. Dipping into my arsenal of Christmas movies has helped a little, but it still feels a lot more Blue Christmas than Jingle Bells around here.
So I have decided to take charge. I will find a tree – any kind of tree – and put in in my living room and cover it with lights. I will have a Christmas party. We will decorate cookies and listen to Bing Crosby. We will eat gingerbread and drink mulled wine. I will drum up some holiday cheer if it kills me, because I, for one, need a little Christmas now.