As much as European kids love winter, refugee children despise it.
A few days ago, I went to the supermarket and something did catch my attention. The Christmas decorations. Yes, it sounds a bit early. Actually too early! Anyway, this reminded me that the cold dark winter is approaching.
Where I live in northern Europe, winter for kids means the joy of watching snowflakes falling from the sky, the amusement of winter sports such as skiing, the scent of roasted almonds in the Christmas market, the excitement of baking ginger cookies, decorating the Christmas tree with colorful and glittered objects. And eventually, the joy of waiting for Christmas Eve when the family comes together to enjoy the celebration while the embellished Christmas tree hosts wrapped boxes underneath.
While neither Jesus was born in a cold snowy winter nor all the families who nowadays celebrate Christmas are Christians, the kids still enjoy it.
On the one hand, and in the European context, it is more of a family gathering and one of the ways to distract yourself from the dark side of winter. At least, I can talk about Scandinavia. The festive season can help with the cold depressing dark side. So, the Europeans can actually enjoy the Winter. And the European kids welcome this period even more excitedly. It has its own meaning for them. Although they might not express it in this way, it can be described as the Christmas tree becomes their Jesus and the gifts around the tree as the disciples. The scene almost illustrates the Last Supper painting in the minds of these kids.
On the other hand, the signs of Christmas for many refugee kids who have been in camps for a long while can bring very different feelings. It can be saddening and can remind them of very rough moments. It means the weather will be colder and colder. It means the days will get shorter and the darkness will increase. It means illness and shivering. Sadly, the cold weather does not ring a bell about family gathering or Christmas traditions. However, it might bring a tiny beam of hope that some volunteers may show up and play with the refugee children.
There is a disturbingly sharp contrast between the two groups, whereas both are on the same continent. In fact, it is not only about being on the same continent, but the entitlement to the rights [on the same continent] that have been promoted continuously on the papers and bluffed all along in the statements. In the real life, the happiness and well being of a large group of children depends on the type of documents that their parents have been granted.