I come from a rural part in Western Kenya, where Christmas is the biggest Christian day celebration that is treasured, in fact it is the only one. My community is known for treasuring good sumptuous meals, but honestly, just food, all kinds of food, especially large portions of everything being served. And Christmas is the only day in the year, where no matter the size of your wallet, you spare no penny to make the day as merry as possible.
My favourite Christmas is when I was 10 years old. I remember, the days before Christmas, the houses will be decorated with balloons, ribbons and a small Christmas tree that dad had cut down from a cypress tree. Those with mud houses, would decorate the outside walls with different colours of mad. It was a season of festivities and generosity. Neighbour would be nicer and strangers welcomed with smiles into our homes.
On Christmas day, in our house, morning started at 5 a.m. where my mom would woke early to prepare breakfast for the family. Breakfast comprised of mahamri, eggs and if we are lucky that year maybe some sausages. We the children, usually are woken up by the aroma that came from the kitchen. On that day we knew better than to be naughty, we were on our best behaviours. We would one by one rush to shower and adorn the newly bought Christmas clothes. The clothes would be hidden in mum’s room once bought, and would only be brought out on that day still with the tags and new smell. The feeling of adorning this new clothes, from their wrappers was usually very exciting. We would dress up and come down for breakfast, where dad would be keen on reminding them why we celebrate Christmas.
After breakfast, we all go to church, the Sunday school for the children. Where we would sing carols and enact the birth of Christ. To be honest the reason why we were so excited about going to church on that day, was to show off the various kinds of fashion and boast about the different kinds of food being prepared back at home. The Sunday school teacher would give out candies and biscuits and church is over.
We would play along the road on our way back home, catching up with friends but amid all that, making sure that the new clothes remain as new and clean.as possible. Unluckily, for the little ones, their clothes would already be stained with candy syrup and juice. We got home and found that lunch was ready. Lunch comprised of chapati, rice, potatoes, chicken, meat and Beverages mostly Fanta and coke. These meals are simple but at that time it was everything at that time. We would all as a family, sit outside in a circle under a tree shade and say a prayer before the feasting began. My then greedy cousin, who had come to visit, would over eat and will be forced to stop eating amid all the laughter.
When lunch was done, we would all assemble at the living room to watch a movie about Christmas, mostly it would be a Western movie, the white Christmas, with snow and better decorations. We were always awed by theirs but we never wished for something else, we were content with our own type of Christmas. The day would not go by before my naughty brother caused trouble. We, the small snitches that we were, would run to dad to tell on him. But no one would dare spoil the Christmas mood, dad would send him off with a warning just because it was Christmas day.
By evening, with all the play, eating and drinking, we would be too tired and full to eat anything. We would retire to bed, happy and Thankful for the day. The next day would be a normal day for us, there were no gifts. Boxing Day, according to our understanding at the time, meant a boxing fight. We would start off, the fights, which would end up in tears and then Christmas was over.