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Who messed up our Christmas?



Gone are the days when Christmas was all about new attire and good food. Unlike our childhood days, our children have grown to view Christmas from an angle we all dread.

In our childhood Christmas came with new clothes and perhaps shoes if the budget allowed. Cooking began early on Christmas day or even on Christmas Eve. Our parents made sure we were at our best on this day.

I remember my Mommy (may her soul rest in peace) using her prowess as a tailor to make us Christmas clothes. She spent days and nights before Christmas at her sewing machine putting our clothes together.

Each of us would keep passing by her side just to ensure she was making some progress. She did not only sew our clothes, I can remember her sewing new underpants for us too. In fact, on one occasion, she made all of us underpants with the words "No entry". So proud was I about the underpants that I made sure I folded my dress to the limits as we played our favourite game 'kati' just so people could see the writings on my underpants.

We would all dress in our similar attire come Christmas and head to church where we would parade ourselves everywhere; after all, we were as good as new. Woe unto you if your parents did not manage to get you new clothes. That would mean 'hibernating' or 'Aestivating' throughout the day as you peep through the windows behind the shears making sure you were invisible.

Unlike any day when a knock at your door would send everyone scrambling to open the door, during hibernation or aestivation, no one would want to reach for the door. Who wants to be seen on Christmas day with nothing new?

After church, we would rush back home via a photo studio to take a family photo for the memory. Once home, it was all systems go for the children.

As we played outside, our parents would be busy indoors cooking, cooking and cooking some more. We would move in groups from one house to another eating anything and everything as we dropped Christmas cards from one neighbour to another hanging them on strings that had been tied from one end of the wall to another in our living rooms.

Our parents were welcoming and no one was afraid the other would poison his/her children. We were given a warm welcome in every home we visited and we left with more goodies in our pockets as we headed to the next home.

We would rush from one shop to another with the little pocket money we had each been given by our parents buying balloons and bursting them at intervals.

We would walk in single file all over the estate singing Christmas carols at the top of our voices mumbling words where we did not know the lyrics. There was no fear of being accused by any parent of making unnecessary noise in the hood. It was all fun everywhere.

By the time the day came to an end, everyone would have enjoyed themselves, including our parents who barely had time for themselves on the material day. Every child would drag themselves back home, our tongues having different colours depending on what juice or ball-gum we had taken.

Too tired to even recap the day's activities with our parents, we would fall asleep in our new clothes, probably in shoes too. Such are the memories we will carry the rest of our lives about our childhood Christmas celebrations.

Fast forward to our children's Christmas celebrations. No one wants to spend this special time with a neighbour or friend. It has turned to strictly a family affair; People have decided to contain the love within their walls. Sharing went out the window as secrecy and greed crawled in.

We no longer have the time for other people during this festive season. A knock on your door on Christmas day will not be taken politely, that is if you decide to make it an indoor affair. In most cases, parents take their families out for a fun day with total strangers in an equally strange place.

Very few see the inside of a church on this day. It's no longer about how you feel on Christmas day but how much you spend and how many people's jaws dropped as you spent your cash. No wonder the extreme brokenness when the year starts coupled with negative energy in the neighbourhood.

Merry Christmas to all who are still living in the past!


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