Anecdotes · Ghana · Nigeria

Enduring Christmas

My family has been both completely non-religious and devoutly religious over the course of my growing up but one thing has never changed: the absolute normalcy of Christmas Day. We’ve never had any celebrations, any trees, lights, gifts or specially prepared food for the day. It has always been just another day at home. When I was younger, I didn’t really notice the difference between my family and others. Yes, I knew others celebrated Christmas and went to church and did a bunch of other things in between but since I had very limited interaction with people at the time, it didn’t bother me much.

That was until I was about 8 or 9 years old and I spent my Christmas holidays with some distantly related cousins in another town. Christmas was “lit” there. There was no tree but everything else made up for the lack of this essential Christmas utility. Bright shiny lights; lots of food; Christmas carols; staying up late; going along to visit my cousin’s friends. It made me start to long for some of these things at home but I never asked and the visits stopped after sometime anyway. Thus the effect was that, I came to see Christmas as any other day and struggled to understand the fuss made on this day, especially when I discovered that the date itself is wrong in relation to Jesus’ birth and the celebration has pagan roots.

School, travel and social media have meant that my circle of friends has increased a lot since I was a kid and I have to deal with the fact that Christmas is actually a big deal to most of these people. They start to talk about their plans for Christmas weeks before the day and they are always so excited about it. On the day, I have to reply their messages, express my best wishes to them too and have conversations about the wonderful Christmases they had. It’s actually quite fun. It is also one of the few times some people on my contacts list remember I exist and I have to politely reply every Christmas message personally no matter how generic they may seem.

I don’t think I’ll ever see Christmas Day as special. To be honest, I’d rather sleep from 24th through 25th and 26th and wake up on the 27th, but I have grown to better understand why others do and to accept it just the way it is. At the end of it all, Christmas Day just like any other day ends when the clock strikes 12………. Well, not for me anyway, because Boxing Day is even worse. But more on that tomorrow……

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11 thoughts on “Enduring Christmas

  1. As I get older, and especially this year, which, as you know has taken a toll on my good Zen, i find the thought of sleeping through the whole thing rather appealing, actually. Not being of the Christian faith, I have never celebrated it specifically as a religious holiday, but when my children were young it was so much fun. Now … it just seems to make me very tired and even more disillusioned, seeing how this holiday especially seems to bring out the greediness in some. Our perspective changes with the years, I suppose.

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    1. You sound really gloomy here. I guess that explains just how disillusioned you feel…
      Don’t know if this will help but usually, I tell myself I want these two days – Christmas Day and Boxing Day – to pass really quickly and forget that they are two days just like any other that I need to make the best out of.

      This time, I took a different approach. I replied all the Christmas and Birthday messages, cracked jokes with people, caught up with others and generally tried to enjoy the days.

      I did. i don’t want them coming back anytime soon but I am no longer scared of them.

      So, here’s hoping that you have a really fun transition into the new year. We’ve only got a few days left of this one. Let loose Big sis!

      Like

      1. Awwwww … thanks, li’l brother! I wasn’t trying to sound gloomy … I guess this whole election year has taken a toll on my psyche … more than I realized at first. But I did enjoy Christmas with family and friends, and am now just ready to get back to my routine. I am a creature of routine and get frustrated when I stray too far from it. But don’t worry … I am thankful for much and not unhappy with my own life … just unhappy with the ways of the world we live in sometimes. Thanks for your kind thoughts … you are a great friend and I cherish your friendship.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ermm, am christian and celebrate Christmas. But year in year out i want to do it in my own way. This year like this i wish no one sent me any of the Christmas messages neither did i genuinely wanted to send messages or call love ones. But i did, doing the norm but soon am sure i will stop that. Merry Christmas tho lool

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  3. 😔 Christmas has only just been celebrated subtlely at my end. When I was a kid, we used to put up lights and my dad would get firecrackers and my mum would cook a big meal. I remember it’s the period we actually take salad with our meals back then. Now, it’s almost just another day. Some years I try to make it better by putting up decorations, but it gets exhausting sometimes being the only one concerned while others yap about how the money could be saved on relevant things.

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