Multiculturalism and Tapestries: a pompous title for a simple idea. I am writing this in the run-up to Christmas when we are processing many orders for Christmas tapestries gifts. Some of these gifts will doubtless become family heirlooms of the future, especially Christmas-related wallhangings which make an annual appearance on the walls of a home.
I was reminded of this last weekend. After purchasing a Christmas tree my wife and I gathered the boxes of Christmas decorations which spend a month on display and eleven months hidden in the depths. We then unrolled all the Christmas and religious art tapestries on The Tapestry House racks to select our home decor for the coming month. Of course, we are privileged to be able to borrow them (you have to buy them individually) but we paid for them anyway! We chose to place two in our living room, one a richly coloured Virgin and Child and the other this magnificent cheerful Santa Claus tapestry.
We were thus able to express our religious beliefs, albeit in a rather old-fashioned manner, and also express our delight in the season with jolly Santa who crosses many multicultural boundaries. However the limits of this were shown to me yesterday in a thrilling way when our neighbours asked if I would visit their home as Santa Claus, fully decked out in red and white disguise, to delight their children. I felt honoured. They celebrate Santa Claus as St. Nicholas of Bari whose feast day is 6th December. So I will be dressed as a jolly Santa Claus but will really be a 4th century bishop. So we should perhaps add him to our selection of religious tapestries among the other saints and also the madonnas, angels and icons.
I am greatly looking forward to visiting the neighbouring family and just hope the children do not recognise this skinny Santa Claus. At least I will have no trouble learning my lines: “Ho ho ho”!