When celebrating Christmas, a lot happens. Families and friends come together to wine and dine and share many good moments together. Among other things, people share stories, as they enjoy each other’s’ company and above all, appreciate the year ending and share plans for the coming year too.
Most people create interesting and fond memories and hold onto them as they reminisce during this cheerful season.
Nadia Lobti, a university student, shares that her best Christmas memories are from when she was a kid.
“I come from a huge, close-knit family that is dispersed across the country and beyond. We usually come from all around to meet in our family house back in the village of Bambui, Cameroon, which had become a sort of unspoken custom for us,” she says.
She recalls these moments to be so enjoyable! “We usually spent the days leading up to Christmas with our neighbours engaging in a variety of children’s activities such as “tabala”, “ndoshing”, “sizo”, and so on. We would walk to the village market square in the evenings to rent movies from our local movie stores. Do you remember any of those multi-part movie cassettes? You know, the ones you’d have to put into a deck? Those are the ones. We would watch Nollywood film after Nollywood film till late at night when those neighbours had no alternative but to go back to their homes.”
Lobti remembers plantains, corn, and plums roasted for them by her great-grandmother, while their elder cousins boiled groundnuts. These were the snacks they used to eat while watching movies.
“We would then dress up in our nice clothing and go to church on Christmas Day. After church, while the adults in our household are having adult conversations, we are most likely gorging on whatever we can find while shouting at the top of our lungs. Those were vibrant days, with lots of loud laughter.”
In regards to traditions, businesswoman Norah Mutesi says one thing that will always stand out for her is the fact that Christmas comes with love and joy.
“No matter what, even in times of the pandemic, the mood changes around Christmas time. People love coming together and spreading love through gift sharing, having meals together and having fun moments. It is such traditions that have kept people moving,” she says.
Upcoming musician Couronne Mushyitsi normally celebrates Christmas from home, surrounded by family and friends.
As a great lover of music, his best memories are when he takes centre stage to sing for the people he loves.
“I normally celebrate Christmas with friends and family. And my best moments are when I sing for them, then we eat and drink, and the day passes like that,” he shares.
Brenda Kayitesi says she loves the part where people dress up and go on to have a good time.
“With the pandemic, things are somehow different—few are allowed to gather—but nonetheless, the positive vibes brought up by the festivities are hard to overlook. My other favourite Christmas tradition is the Christmas tree and the decorations. These are so awesome they enlighten the entire mood. It’s hard not to like Christmas,” she says.
“Of course, attending church tops the list, and then coming home to the appetising smell of food and more food. And then an evening of chatting with friends and relatives,” Kayitesi adds.
Of course each family has its own traditions made over the years when it comes to celebrating Christmas. However, most of these rotate around the idea of sharing love and having fun together.