Merry… hold on… *checks date* Christmas…?

Why yes, it is Christmas here — in fact, it’s been Christmas here for a month now since the one and only Empanada Man decreed, back in August, that Christmas should once again start on October this year instead of, you know, December like usual.

While I had certainly seen the headlines about that back in August I kinda forgot about the whole thing until a month ago, when I was accompanying one of my young cousins on some errands, and lo and behold, the Christmas decorations (already in place on September 30th) caught me off guard.

The staff of the place in question, an erstwhile military-only mall that has long since been opened for ‘the people’ were certainly in a rush that day. Everyone was putting on their Christmas wreaths, lights, and ornaments that are synonymous with the most wonderful time of the year.

As I waited for my cousin to finish with her personal errands, I asked a lady there what was up with the rush. She told me, with noticeable nervousness, that on the next day (October 01st) supervisors would come inspect to see if everyone was complying with the festive mandante and that the decorations were up to the task, thus ensuring that Chrismtas had indeed started. This was not an isolated incident, and it was something that was replicated throughout the city here and there. It didn’t take long before streets and parks began to be dressed in Christmas joy as well.

When you have absolute control of a country you get to do stuff like that, you get to do as you please and yes, you even get to dictate when Christmas starts, it’s not the first time this has happened here, nor will it be the last. I don’t wanna sound like a party pooper but yeah, October doesn’t feel like Christmas to me.

Like it past times, people have criticized the measure, declaring it to be just a distraction of the greater problems that we continue to face and deal with in the country. The goal is pretty simple, it is part of the regime’s larger efforts to sell the image that Venezuela’s in better conditions, when it is in fact not, otherwise, why where there 3,892 registered protests during the first semester of 2022 alone, and why does inflation, basic utilities, lack of proper health access, and everything else continue to screw our lives.

Wait a minute... that hand gesture...

While all that may be true, can you really blame people for at least enjoying some Christmas decorations and a sense of ‘normalcy,’ ephemeral as it may be? I sure can’t, it’s not like there’s any political solution to anything anymore, at least not in the short term.

Diluting Christmas throughout the span of three months also served to dilute the payment for the Christmas bonuses that are always paid towards the end of the year to workers and pensioners, with the excuse that this is being done so as to not ‘incur in further inflation,’

The three month dilution of Christmas also serves to split the usual Christmas bonuses that are paid at the end of the year to workers and pensioners, paying the rather small amounts in thwp-three parts so as to not ‘incur’ in further inflation’ as if that’d work.

What it can't mask

The town of Las Tejerías, located in Aragua, was basically destroyed by the floods, with 54 registered deaths and 8 still missing. It was reported that at least 378 houses were completely destroyed in Las Tejerías, and another 400 suffered damages.

The town of Las Tejerías, located in Aragua, was basically destroyed by a landslide, with 54 registered deaths and 8 still missing. It was reported that at least 378 houses were completely destroyed in Las Tejerías, and another 400 suffered damages.

There are many theories as to what caused such devastation. Some say it was climate change, others claim that the illegal mining of nickel in the region (where Empanada Man Jr. is allegedly involved) primed the land for the landslide, with the storm acting as the fuse — and then there’s Empanada Man, blaming Spain Colonizers (not making this one up).

Whatever the real reason is, it doesn’t change the fact that people have lost friends and loved ones in this tragedy, as well as their material possessions in a country where due to the precarious economic state of it all it is easier said than done to rebuild a house or get new furniture. My heart really goes to those affected.

In other areas of the country, including the Capital District, some lost their houses as well.

I sincerely doubt all of those affected are going to be in a festive mood, decree or not.

The intense storms have done a number on our house’s roof, giving forth new leaks around the kitchen but it’s nothing that bad compared to this. During the worst storm the building actually began to be flooded from the top down, even so, some wet corridors and notable water damage on the top floor’s apartments and hallway are nothing compared to this.

If you wanna be cheeky about it yeah, some of the regime’s Christmas decorations got rekt by the storms.

But wait, what about Halloween?

Ah yes, the ‘imperialist/capitalist/colonialist/something-else-ist’ Halloween that the regime has been so butthurt about in the past. During the mid 2000s, when they were at the height of the whole Socialism of the XXI Century thing, they were vehemently anti Halloween and sought to ‘replace’ it by celebrating the birth of leftoid singer Ali Primera — even though Halloween is not an official holiday here and it’s just something people do for fun out of their own volition.

So, there’s nothing really stopping you from celebrating it, hell, even the new people I get beef and chicken from (after my previous one fell from grace) put up a few Halloween decorations.

You do your thing, and celebrate Halloween if you want — if you can afford it that is, as the prices are for costumes and decorations are 2spooky4me — or if you prefer, just celebrate Christmas in October, I sure won’t stop you.

As of the time of posting this, I am now about to start month 5 of the 6 months ETA I was given before I can continue on my bureaucracy quest towards traveling out of Venezuela with my brother. There are some new developments in the horizon that may expedite things, but more on that later — if these don’t go through then nothing changes and I continue with my plans as-is.

We’ll see how things unfold, but until then, I’ll continue to try and get my health back up in shape, cause between migraines, sinues, and stomach woes, it was a long, long week for me.

Take it easy,