Monday, 24 December 2012

Basil, not Nicholas

This year's Christmas in Greece could be said to be a frightfully difficult one for most people. It's not the Christmas presents that they can't afford or the lack of a good bite to eat that has made Christmas difficult for most of us; it's the way we have been treated by politicians and financial institutions, the way they have excised their pound of flesh from all of us and destroyed every layer of our lives. We've been made to feel that we don't deserve a Christmas this year.

Kipper Williams Christmas card - Athens
Kipper Williams, The Guardian
It will not worry me if Santa Claus decides to snub Greece this year because she has fallen below his expectations. St Nicholas probably knows that Greeks never wait for Santa Claus to come with presents anyway. In Greece, we know there is no such thing as Santa Claus.

Last night's Νοιάζομαι, Μοιράζομαι (I care, I share) event at Syntagma Square called pn peopel to donate whatever they had to spare in their home to the needy. The Athens municipality collected more than 70 truckloads of goods, including 2 triaxial trucks, and had to find more storage areas than anticipated due to the underestimated turnout. The event will continue on Christmas Eve, and a great effort will be made to distribute all the goods to those in need before New Year's Eve. More photos of the event avialable here.

In this little corner of Europe, we all know it's Ayios Vasilis that brings the presents. That's St Basil, of course, and he's due here sometime on New Year's Eve. By the 1st of January, there will be many happy Greek people enjoying his generosity.

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