A short while ago, I was asked to write about 'what Christmas was like for me back home', as part of the advent season and thought to share it here with you. So, what was Christmas like for me, in my childhood home? Well, in preparation for Christmas, the children would be taught to sing Christmas carols, which they would sing in Christmas plays, nativities and other festive events in schools or churches. Whilst adults would form Christmas choirs and performed in Christmas plays. The story of the birth of Jesus was usually told, with the visit of the three wise men bearing gifts, right through to Christmas day!
One of the highlights of Christmas back home, was going to church with my family and watching my father sing Christmas carols from his church hymn book, along with the congregation. We would sing Christmas carols like, "O Come, O come, Emmanuel."
In the build up to Christmas, we would hand out Christmas cards and gifts to our neighbours, friends, colleagues and those we wanted to wish a Merry Christmas. The best part, was decorating the house, with all the Christmas cards we had received over the years as a family and putting up the Christmas tree.
Then a few days before Christmas, the real festivities begins, as we watch our parents buy Christmas food in advance and store them in the pantry, ready to be used on Christmas day. One nostalgic thing I remember, was the aroma of mum's special Christmas cake filling the atmosphere of our home. It was tempting, knowing mum's scrumptious Christmas cake was within reach, yet, we were forbidden to touch it before Christmas day!
On Christmas Eve, we would head out to church for the Christmas service, where we would watch Nativity plays, sing Christmas carols and pray. Come Christmas day, everyone was in the Christmas spirit, as we would help mum prepare the Christmas meals.
The aroma of mum's Christmas meals were a delightful treat, well known, not just to our family, but to our relatives and neighbours as well. Mum would dish out generous servings of Christmas meals in beautiful ceramic dishes and place them in sturdy bags. One by one, she would hand it out to my siblings and I to deliver it to our neighbours, who were already looking forward to mum's tasty Christmas meals. Our relatives would also visit throughout Christmas day to spend Christmas with us and enjoy mum's Christmas meals. Christmas for us, was a full house affair!
Though the way we celebrate Christmas has changed significantly, one thing remains the same. It's a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and to show the love of Christ to others.
This year, however you choose to spend Christmas, be it alone or surrounded by people, let's have our focus on Christ and what he's done for us. For that is what Christmas is truly about and in return, we are reminded through the death of Jesus, that God really cares for us.
Here's wishing you all, A Merry Cosy Christ-mas!
Notes: Understandably, Christmas can be a difficult time for some. If that is you, take comfort in knowing that God will be there for you, if you just call out to him. You can also see the link below, where I have explained more about this issue under the heading, 'The Hidden Side of Christmas'. Take care and stay blessed.
I'm Kemi West. A simple Christian, learning to live life, through the teachings of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures. I’m looking to share the gift of Christ with others.