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Home / Living

Time for jolly Christmas family traditions

By Annie Awuor | 4 months ago | 7 min read

 Let us talk family traditions with these amazing ladies (Photo: Courtesy)

It is hard to believe that a year has gone by and the Christmas season is upon us again. Usually, the Christmas season is that time of the year where we make memories and reconnect with family!

Ask any family from here to Timbuktu, everyone has a special Christmas tradition they take part in year after year.

It can be anything from travelling to the countryside, to going to church on Christmas morning, to enjoying a breakfast feast together as a family, to decorating the house. It could also be something simple like watching classic Christmas movies or singing Christmas carols.

One can also go the modern way and put on matching pajamas or wear ugly Christmas sweaters, and even travel for holiday. However, all in all, Christmas traditions are nothing more than family spending time together.

Interestingly, enough, the Christmas traditions we experienced as children sometimes become the Christmas traditions we pass on to our children or to others. Here are some ideas for Christmas traditions that you can make your own:

Maureen Waititu

 Maureen Waititu is a content creator and TV show host (Photo: Courtesy)

What is your earliest memory of Christmas?

The whole family coming together and a decorated Christmas tree. The tree would be decorated with those shinny decorations also used as graduation trinkets.

I remember being allowed to stay up later than usual because we would be waiting for baby Jesus to be born. I remember drinking soda, Fanta, which was not as common as it is for today’s children.

Even chapati was not an everyday thing like today; you would be nibbling your chapati slowly so it would not finish it too quickly. It was the funniest thing, but such wonderful memories.

What does Christmas mean to you today?

It is the day I celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and also the time of year where I like to calm down and wrap up things. It is a time to reflect on the year that is ending and the one that is coming.

In addition, I love everything about Christmas, especially Christmas lights. I absolutely love it when malls like Yaya and Junction put up Christmas lights.

I also love the calmness and quietness of Nairobi when most people travel out of town for the holidays. The fact that there is no traffic is one of the best things about Christmas Day in Nairobi.

I usually go on holiday with my children after everyone is back to the city.

What are some of the Christmas traditions you hope to pass on?

For the last three years, one of my key traditions has been to decorate my house. The bigger the better; go big or go home. As soon as December starts, I usually put up my tree and lights.

When it comes to Christmas traditions with my boys, we usually go out for a meal. We also have gifts under the Christmas tree, and the boys know they cannot open them until the morning of Boxing Day.

Jacky Vike

 Jacky Vike is an actress, radio presenter and content creator (Photo: Courtesy)

What is your earliest memory of Christmas?

I remember going upcountry and being with my cousins, grandparents and the whole extended family. I also remember eating chapati and that everyone was wearing their new Christmas clothes. That was actually a thing back in the day.

I also vividly remember travelling to the countryside. Back in the day parents did not pay for seats for their children, and so we would sit in the front, near the driver’s seat and next to the engine.

It would get so hot! Then we would be passing the Western region of the country, and in every town, we would stop and people would wave at us including those in every other passing bus. It was hilarious, we enjoyed it. They do not do that anymore.

What does Christmas mean to you today?

These days it is a bit boring, not as interesting or colourful. There is nothing new or special that you can give children today, they seem to have it all.

For example, back in my day chapati was special, but now they eat it at home all the time and even get it in school. For my son, Mosi who is four, what excites him is a Christmas tree and lights.

Also, he likes to go to the mall to see Santa and to watch Christmas movies. For me, it is just a holiday where I get to rest and not work.

What are some of your Christmas traditions you hope to pass on?

Having family over. I no longer have to go upcountry as my close family including my mother and brother live in Nairobi.

We meet up and catch up, nothing out of the ordinary though, since my family is here and we normally catch up on a weekly basis.

I miss travelling upcountry for Christmas though, there is something about going home, the air is fresh, and the food even tastes better.

Kitt Kiarie

 Kitt Kiarie is a sleep trainer and content creator (Photo: Courtesy)

What is your earliest memory of Christmas?

My mum would put presents under the Christmas tree, and I remember opening Christmas presents on Christmas morning. Plus, my mother would decorate the Christmas tree with lights, and I loved every moment.

What does Christmas mean to you today?

We usually do an extended family retreat out of town. We either travel before or after Christmas because it is cheaper and less packed. This year we went the second week of December.

The family Christmas destination is often a family decision as everyone gets a vote. We decide on the location earlier in the year so we can all start saving up. My mother and I normally do the planning and booking.

 What are some of your Christmas traditions you hope to pass on?

We have a family tradition where we all exchange gifts; everyone buys gifts for someone, even our children are involved. We give them money and also, they save up from doing house chores.

This year my sister took my children to buy gifts for my husband and me. The tradition is now opening the gifts on Boxing day. Another tradition I would love to pass on is decorating the house as early as the first day of December.

Terryanne Chebet

 Terryanne Chebet is an entrepreneur and content creator (Photo: Courtesy)

What is your earliest memory of Christmas?

We would decorate the entire house and put up a Christmas tree. We would decorate using those long shiny decorations, and we loved it.

It also meant making chicken and chapati in the kitchen with my mother, sisters, cousins and aunties. Everyone had a role to play in the kitchen, it was wonderful.

I grew up in the countryside so Christmas meant that relatives who lived in Nairobi or out of town would come to our house. After eating, we would sing Christmas carols together.

What does Christmas mean to you today?

It is all about rest and family time with my daughters. It is a day off from work, a time to relax. I stay at home with my daughters and we bond lots. We also love to watch Christmas movies.

What are some of your Christmas traditions you hope to pass on?

It is a time to reconnect with loved ones. Spend time with each other, show love to the less fortunate. Last year I baked a fruit cake, which takes some days to make, a tradition I would wish to keep.

Also, having friends over on Boxing Day is something I want to keep doing. I love wine and I love to make mulled wine for friends who come over.

I make it using cheap wine, and then I add spices and brown sugar. After eating, I heat the mixture up and serve it up for the grown-ups.

Adelle Onyango

 Adelle Onyango is a content creator, poet and podcaster (Photo: Courtesy)

What is your earliest memory of Christmas?

Growing up, Christmas was a big deal in our house. My best memories are us putting up the tree, decorating it, putting up decorations around the house, on the front door, and on the gate.

I, especially liked that because of the excitement that it was almost Christmas! Other than that Christmas mornings were always awesome because after breakfast we would open our gifts.

What does Christmas mean to you today?

It means family and togetherness. It means I shower love on everyone I love and do my best to remind them they are loved, they are cared for and that I love spending time with them.

What are some of your Christmas traditions?

My Christmas tree goes up in November, my house decorations too. Christmas day is always spent with my sisters - we have family breakfast, lunch and dinner, make merry, exchange gifts and for one full day shower each other with love.

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