Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is there any color in your Christmas?

People often ask me how being a part of a multi-racial family has changed me. Its hard to express in a way that anyone who isn't part of our family could really understand but it has, fundamentally.

Christmas is one of those times of the year when its very apparent that I view Christmas very differently than many other white, 35 year old Canadian women. I view this season from the perspective of a member of a minority, part black, family.

First off, I collect Santas. That, in and of itself isn't that unusual, but what I collect is BLACK Santas. Now if you know me in real life, and know where I live (North-West Canada for those that don't) you realize that this is a CHALLENGE. In fact, probably to most in our area the fact that Santa is anything other than a large very white man doesn't even cross most people's minds. I search, I find, I buy, I am given. I have 6 or 7 of all shapes and sizes now.

Look close. You will see the elf lost his head. That's how living with 4 boys has changed me!

Secondly, my ornaments reflect the diversity of my family. I have many angels, knick knacks and decorations that reflect the beauty of an aray of black, brown and tan skin tones. Our angel at the top of our tree is definitely African-American.

Secondly, my Nativity scenes are probably more reflective of the truth of Jesus and his family of birth than many others (this one is NOT an example of that though!). You REALLY think Mary was a doe-eyed blond and baby Jesus adorned with a head of blond curls? Yeah. Right. But you do have to love how on this set the eyes are still blue. DUH.

I also have several ethnic African Christmas pieces imported from a variety of African nations. Our sons are not ethnic African but it is their heritage, and in the same way I proudly display my "Pere Noel" celebrating my long ago French roots, I want them to understand and appreciate the celebrations of their ancestors. Or at least feel that "I" appreciate and understand the celebrations of their ancestors, whether or not they choose to.


Anonymous said...

Cool collection. I blogged about our struggles in trying to find a Black Santa Claus for the kids to visit around here recently.

Vanessa said...

We try to implement some hispanic items in our Christmas decor as well since my daughter was adopted from Guatemala! I also have some hand made traditional items too!!