Christmas is over, I know. It seems like just yesterday I was expectantly looking forward to Christmas this year and the holiday that comes alongside. It did not disappoint. Yaaaaay.
Last year Christmas, I was in my room, watching a ton of YouTube videos while practicing my braiding skills. It took 3 days to complete small box braids on myself. Small braids tend to last longer, and can be worn for a very long time. Now I am faster. Practice does make perfect indeed. Living in the diaspora pushes you into the DIY world.
The holiday this year has been amazing. I have hardly spent time at home, but it was awesome. How did you spend your Christmas?
I’m actually scared that by the time the holiday is over, I will be so tired and not well-rested. I can hear my mum saying, ‘you have been gallivanting up and down!’
Even though I have heard the word ‘gallivant’ so many times; I looked it up in the dictionary. hmm… let’s just say I know she means no harm.
Anyway, a Christmas lunch I attended inspired this post. We were all having a nice conversation on how Christmas is celebrated in our various countries, if there were any food that must not be left out…etc
Well, when it came to my turn, I mentioned rice, and chin chin. Abi Nigerians, is that not the Christmas stable? That day, one will receive different types of Chin chin and fried meat from neighbours. Rice in different colours, but all bearing the same name and packaged in different shapes and sizes of containers. All these depending on your neighbourhood.
Kids usually will go around with new clothes and clean hairstyles knocking on doors. This they do, in the hope that they will see ‘uncle‘, ‘aunty‘, ‘big mummy‘ and ‘big daddy‘, that will grease their palm with a little something. They end up being ‘rich’ before the day is over.
Growing up, Christmas was not a big deal. I spent most of the Christmas period at church camp with my family. In fact, the word ‘Christmas’ was hardly used there, I stand to be corrected though. There were no new clothes and all the holiday razzmatazz. And setting up a Christmas tree and putting presents under, was also not really a Nigerian thing, at least then.
However, I enjoyed carols, dramas and the likes at school events and from the media. I even participated sometimes. I loved seeing places decorated brightly for Christmas. My parents got me new clothes regularly, I just did not get anything specifically just for Christmas. And even though I may have gotten new stuff that season, it was not termed Christmas anything.
I know there is the whole hullabaloo about the date 25th December, being or not being the date Jesus Christ was born. The argument is that the celebrations on that day were not originally about Jesus Christ but were later co-opted. This may be the major reason the church then had nothing to do with Christmas festivities.
Personally, I knew no better and I really did and still enjoy my camp experiences, at least 80% of it. One advantage was that, I could see and interact with friends I hadn’t seen in a long time from all over. Faith in God was also strengthened.
I believe the birth of Jesus Christ is the reason for the celebration. If I can attach much importance to the day I was born, how much more my Savior Jesus Christ. Since this date has been chosen to celebrate His birth, I believe it’s wonderful and takes pre-eminence over anything pagan the date may have been initially attached to. I respect others’ conviction though.
But for me, Jesus Christ remains the reason for the season, a king is born and he is the reason why I celebrate. Nehemiah 8:9-10.
This year I got presents, which I love so much from very wonderful people. Somebody said, ”why are we getting presents? Is it not Jesus’ birthday?” Well, the biggest present we can give him is our hearts and to have him as our Lord, and Lord over all that concerns us.
Merry Christmas dear friends. Hope you had a great time.