Christmas Story / Regina Coyula

As I had unforgettable Christmases in my own childhood, I wanted to awaken those emotions in my son; and I managed to do it while he was little. But Rafael grew up and last year there weren’t decorations, I didn’t have the energy for the fake tree, fake snow, old Christmas cards, empty boxes wrapped up in place of gifts. This year it was a little more difficult than the one before, for reasons everyone knows and for other, more intricate ones. Come November, my husband, ignoring my authority over him, announced that this year I should put up a Christmas tree without any questioning; to make it softer, he told me a cute tale in which the protagonist suffered from a string of bad luck, until he decides to celebrate the holidays at the end of the year. Like all cute stories, it ends well. So yesterday, Sunday, I dusted off all the boxes and put together an idea for Christmas with the same fake tree, the same old Christmas cards, the same boxes – empty but wrapped like an imitation of gifts. Hugging my husband and my son, with the lights out, we contemplated the tree. It was a really beautiful moment.

But the life of Cubans is not a happy story.

December 14, 2010