Brazilian newspaper Folha de SÃ£o Paulo recently published a story saying Mr. Hugo Chavez, current president of Venezuela, has forbidden traditional Christmas imagery in all government bureaus. (Folha de SÃ£o Pauloâs article is in Portuguese but can be translated.) According to Wikipedia, Mr. Chavez is the ââ¦leader of the 'Bolivarian Revolution,' promoting his vision of democratic socialism, Latin American integration, and anti-imperialism. He is also an ardent critic of neoliberal globalization and U.S. foreign policy.â
Mr. Chavez says traditional Christmas imagery originated in the United States. He says Christmas in Venezuela should be Venezuelan, with no influence from the imperialist devil. Still according to him, while nativity scenes and decorations with the local plant, Flor de Navidad, (Christmas Flower) are a yes-yes, Santa Claus, the Christmas tree itself, or hanging stockings are a no-no.
Thatâs Mr. Hugo Chavez. Now my Dad has a direct approach, like telling his seven-year old son that Santa is but a figment of our imagination, probably fostered by evil toy stores, and that Christmas, in itself, is just a way to insure year-end fights with close and distant relatives you spend the year trying to get away from. Thatâs a man whose sense of communion is somewhat lacking. He canât even be considered a true Christian, but does so little affection for our Saviorâs birthday come from a sheer lack of religious values? I donât really think so. I firmly believe that in his case, he played the hand he was dealt.
I take a middle-ground approach. Provided the prying relatives are not there and Iâm surrounded by people I like, I sometimes force myself to attend such parties. After all, there is sense in celebrating one who sacrificed for the greater good. If youâre not into that, thereâs free food and snacks, so donât spoil the party for everyone else. Try to be a good sport. However, I am sure if I had kids, we would cook a nice Christmas dinner, exchange gifts, and look and sound surprised at the nice presents Santa left them. I just donât see the point of doing it as an adult. That bubble was burst a long time ago.