The holiday mood is in full swing, and by the time you are reading this, chances are you are tearing into the sumptuous pieces of marinated chicken and mbuzi choma as you unwind with your family, relatives, and friends. Party after party is the slogan that will best define this period. But nothing beats the Christmas of yore.
Back then Christmas was like no other. I can vividly recall the exhilaration that set in around Christmas time. On Christmas morning, my siblings and I would each get a new Christmas outfit as a gift from our parents and we would proudly stroll around the neighborhood in for all and sundry to see. Back then sodas, chapatis, and chicken were a big deal and after the Christmas church service, we couldn’t wait to dig in and devour the sumptuous delicacies as we listened to the Carols all day long. The ’80s and 90’s kids will relate.
Sadly, the excitement has waned over the years. Christmas is not something to get giddy over and most folks prefer spending it alone and steer clear from traveling upcountry. The unforgiving harsh economic times haven’t made matters any easier and many don’t look forward to much. Many prefer sending money home to incurring astronomical air and bus fare. And even when it looks like its celebration everywhere, many are still reeling from the difficulties and challenges that peppered the year.
This is the year that saw quite a good number of business owners calling it a day under difficult and uncertain economic times. 2019 is the year that witnessed numerous layoffs which added to the perennial high unemployment levels. A former colleague opened a YouTube channel intimating how difficult life has been for him ever since his employer folded up. How he was compelled to move into his brother’s apartment because he could no longer afford rent and basic necessities. To run salt to the wound, he started a few businesses which all failed and sunk him further into stress and depression. I called him up and we talked things out and although I couldn’t pull him out of his situation, I assured him that things would eventually lookup.
Things may not have been so rosy this year, but there are still a few things that you can do to make it a purposeful Christmas period. Like appreciating those around you and telling them how much you care and love them. Surprise them with a small and thoughtful gift to show them that you still have their interests in mind. If you have decided to remain behind, give your mom and dad a call and let them know you still care about them.
Give back to the less fortunate. Consider volunteering in organizations that give back to society or contribute some money that will go towards a children’s home or home for the aged.
Remember to compliment your kids and your better half. Tell them how good they look. Fix them a special meal and snuggle up with your lover over a nice movie.
Make a gratitude list and meditate over it. Say thank you for the good things your family, friends, and relatives have done for you throughout the year. See the brighter side of the challenges that have come your way and try to think of how you can surmount them in the coming year.
And finally, send some love to your foes or the people you usually don’t get along with.
Spread the cheer, make it a purposeful Christmas and don’t forget to have fun.
Have a Merry Christmas and a super wonderful 2020!