One of the first things many people think of when they hear the word Christmas is gifts. Gifts and Christmas have been interchangeable for a very long time in our world’s history. But over time, what people think of as gifts has shifted. Each new era or generation defines it differently. There were monetary gifts such as gold, frankincense, and myrrh in the days of Christ, when all things were handcrafted and only the wealthiest of people could have precious ore or spices from distant lands. Or perhaps, during the great wars of the twentieth century, a gift of war bonds was precious when patriotism and the survival of the world made things like toys seem trivial to many. Now, everyone wants the latest iPhone or the newest technology. Throughout our lives, what we want also changes. Gifts shift from toys, games, and candy to technology or clothes–all inconsequential things that provide short-term entertainment. However, all of these things fade and have less impact on our true joy. Joy can really be found in the simple things of life.
During planning for Christmas Around the World, Jeanette reached out to people who had the opportunity to tour and represent the United States this summer. I had the opportunity to go to tour in Spain with American Rhythm and the opportunities we had to meet people and learn about their cultures and their experiences, were truly incredible. We were asked about our experiences with meeting other people and what it was like to share cultural gifts with them. These questions were used to get answers from dancers and their answers were in the videos and audio you will see and hear throughout the show. These are the more detailed versions of my personal answers.
Throughout our time in Spain we had the opportunity to meet so many people from all around the world. From Mexico, Poland, Bulgaria, and of course Spain, we were able to meet so many amazing people and make so many amazing connections. We didn’t all speak the same language, many of them didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak many of their languages. So relying on the power of song and dance, we were able to connect through different aspects.