ADVENT STORY from Graz

It all started on the 23rd of December.

Then everyone became happily restless. During Advent and Ramadan, we had interesting conversations about faith. We ate biscuits, just samples, and philosophised. What man has done with "God's word". Is there a real one, another false one, several, how do people live without faith, with another faith, what is the same everywhere and what is foreign to us.

Beautiful time

The tree was bought, one of the boys always helped me carry it. Flat was polished. Food was discussed. We always remembered young people who were lonely, alone. We discussed whether we should invite them. After we exchanged our thoughts about it, it's not so easy, we too sometimes have this conservative, destructive "family party" in us. We are also normal people. Not always social. But: we make an effort because we feel it is right and because it warms our hearts in the end. Not always easy.

Then we discussed the food, which was always fun. Mulham is slim as a rake, but he eats for 2-3. He is so hearty and makes such beautiful music that I can live well with the need for pots and the amount of shopping. So several things have to be cooked, rice, noodles, vegetables and meat. And starters and desserts. Sounds luxurious now. It is. The luxury of conjuring up a heavenly dessert from a kind of pudding, milk, flour, spices, pistachios, together, chatting and happy in the kitchen. That really is luxury. Because actually, others say, performance should count. So little is said about our humanity. They achieve so much anyway, these young people. Connecting with each other in a sustainable way is only possible with humanity. A modern society will learn that this is what it's all about. Back and forth movement.

Then, so suddenly out of nowhere the boys say "let's invite A., M. and R. too. Then Christmas is here. They have remained in charity after all they had to suffer through. Remarkable.

24.12. Cosy breakfast, chatting, thinking of our parents, of relatives. And then we go to decorate the tree together. With pleasure. Here, too, we indulge in these old rituals, the tree is inspected from all sides to ensure that the decorations are evenly distributed. In between, Mulham fetches the guitar and plays. The children and the first friends arrive. And then, every year, friends appear at the door, bringing biscuits, noodles, rice, napkins, and so on. A warming time.

Christmas luxury

At some point I sit around the tree with my children and the boys and Mulham plays, like Christmas in the shelter in Ehrenhausen in 2015, where almost 25 Austrians, some with children, so none of them who would not have anyone, celebrated Christmas with 60 people on the run in their shelter on 24 December, from 17 to 00:30. That was Christmas! Families, couples leaving their homes on 24.12. to spend the evening with a tree, presents, candles, Christmas carols, games, etc.. ,to spend Christmas Eve in a refugee camp. A run-down inn, in the middle of a busy roundabout. It was such a beautiful Christmas night. So many warm-hearted people, great joy.

2019

This year, some of these boys are no longer in the country, deported to Afghanistan or on the run in Europe. These boys belong to our family. My children have made sincere friends with them, accompanied them in the darkest hours. That's Christmas too, sometimes in August. Now these boys are sitting somewhere. They always miss us, because we are warmly connected with each other. Because we had fun, because we cried together, because we fought, cooked and cleaned. Because they were lovable, slovenly, respectful, grumpy, social and studious, as familiar as we were.

France, Italy, Germany, Ireland, India

There they sit, some asylum, some waiting, some Dublin, alone again, strangers again, loss again, silent again, without language. This is Christmas? And while the churches are almost full on this day, because people are asking for something we could give every day, charity, my boys are sitting somewhere alone, I'm sure they are looking at the many pictures on their mobile phones and are wistful, or grieving.

We celebrate Christmas separately this time, but the day will come when the boys will come to rest, to peace, and then we will celebrate Christmas and a birthday.

#Advent #Christmas story #charity #FestivalOfLove #StopDeportationtoAFGHANISTAN

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