What Christmas means to me!
If only we are as kind and as giving everyday of the year and not only at Christmas!
Christmas is my favorite time of year. I remember Christmases growing up was always a big deal. It was usually cold, dry and dusty due to the Harmattan season in Nigeria. There was always a party, everyone came to my grandparents house. By everyone I mean aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, family friends and "family" that we knew we were related to but not sure how!
For me this was exciting because I lived with my grandparents, which meant the party was at my house. The downside was the "end of year" cleaning! No dirt was supposed to come with you into the new year lol!!!
We would clean for a whole week before Christmas and decorate. We had the same tree and decorations EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. no matter how old and ripped they were. Gran'mum never threw anything away, tape fixed everything. My favorite was the little Nativity scene, it was porcelain, hand painted and like a million years old. So we had to be extremely careful.
One of my fondest memories was getting a teaspoon of brandy from Gran'mum because it was cold. I think about it now and it makes me smile. She believed a teaspoon of brandy and vitamins could cure anything (my mum believes that too) lol! And it was not even close to cold.. go Canada!!
Our Christmas was not about gifts, we never had a gift exchange. But we got new clothes to wear to church. It was about family and seeing everybody. It was about giving and making sure every one was fed. There were women hired to cook copious amounts of jollof rice, beef, turkey, chicken and pepper-soup.
We always packed big dishes of food and distributed to everyone on our street and some to the Priests. The church was right behind our house, you could literally attend mass standing on the back balcony. We loved doing this because everyone on the street knew we would always come and would give us "tips" for dropping them off. We always got to keep the money :)
Now it seems like Christmas is sometimes not worth all the hype. Maybe because I'm older or because it is so commercialized, I'm not sure. But it feels like we spend so much time shopping and planning and in the blink of an eye it is over.
How can we make this season more meaningful? We need to remember that it is not only about gifts or shopping. First and foremost, it is truly about remembering the birth of Jesus. It is about being Jesus' hands and feet, not only during this season but all year long.
It is about consciously living a meaningful life by recognizing how we impact people around us, starting with our immediate circle. It is about how we can genuinely make a difference every single day.
When all the Christmas lights and decorations are put away, when the new year starts in full swing and resolutions begin to gather dust, let us remember to live everyday like it is Christmas.
Living deliberately, being kind to one another, giving help and asking for help, hugging a little longer, spending more time with our loved ones, giving back in our communities and making a difference every day.
Merry Christmas and have an amazing 2017!