Tis The Season
Christmas is just a little over two weeks away, can you believe it? It seems like it was January just yesterday and here we are, about to usher baby Jesus into the world yet again. I mean, ‘where did the time in fact go?’ right? Well, musings of another time because today, it’s all about the season at hand.
I’ve always been a HUGE Christmas fan since my childhood and I especially look forward to it as an adult because I live thousands of miles from my family. So not only does it bring back beautiful holiday memories but it keeps me in a perpetual state of joy. It is the one season where no matter what storms may be brewing, the sight of clustered mini lights literally puts a smile on my face.
Some say they have they lost their Christmas spirit because it has become a big commercial holiday, which is true. But if we focus on the commercialization of holidays, it will make it hard for anyone to celebrate anything since practically every holiday these days has been commercialized.
That’s where traditions come in which is what I miss most about Christmas. It was always an elaborate affair growing up starting with Christmas music from November till Christmas day. Our favorite was the Christmas album by Boney M. which was constantly replayed. It was the first thing we would do when we woke up, turn the stereo on and sometimes my siblings and I would goof around to the music.Then in December, we would put up a tree which my dad usually harvested from around the neighborhood; mostly it was a pine tree and rarely a fir. I always decorated the tree with a few siblings helping and I remember throwing a tantrum one year when my dad wouldn’t get us tree, saying we were older; so it shouldn’t matter.
Then a week before Christmas, we would make all the pastries we could afford to make in large quantities to last through New Year Day. These were used as snacks and also to entertain guests. Some of the pastries included a traditional snack from my country called Chin-Chin made with lots of flour, butter and eggs; banana and yogurt cake. On the eve of, we would prepare an assortment of soups and meats. We made sure to finish in good time for my siblings to make the Christmas eve mass.
After mass, we would stay up late watching the neighborhood bustle with people and various activities. On Christmas day, my mum and I would go to early morning mass and return by 10 am to prepare the accompaniments for the soups made the night before. By 2pm, my cousins, aunties and uncles are home in time for lunch and we would eat as one big happy family.
Of course being that it’s a commercial day too, we contribute our quota with my siblings and parents going to different clubs later in the day. I was always the home-buddy and stayed home with my older sister who was disabled, watching a string of movies I had rented for the occasion and spicing it up with random dance sessions.
We sound like a Hallmark movie right? At least, an African version but the point is, Christmas is quite an event in my family. I am not so sure it would be as enjoyable as when we were kids because I can’t stand some of my extended family members now and it’ll be hard to fake it during such a happy time. So while I do miss my family most during this season, I think I love the memory of what used to be more.
I cannot wait to start a new tradition with ‘my own’ family sometime in the future which would definitely include putting up the tree in October and only taking it down on Valentines day. 🙂 Driving around the most festive neighborhoods to admire the lights and especially a trip to some Christmas village and attending a tree lightning. But mostly, sharing the joy that Christmas brings with the ones I love. Do you have any Christmas traditions with your family or are you starting new traditions? Please share. As always, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to subscribe. 🙂