Christmas is my favorite time of the year because I love Christmas songs, mostly the hymns. Top of the list for me is “O Holy Night” and “See Amid The Winter’s Snow” amongst many others. I can listen to Christmas songs all year literally, they make me so happy and ecstatic. It is also a time of reflection for me on how privileged I am as a born-again Christian, that Jesus came to die for me. Even though people try to argue that no one knows for a fact when Jesus was born, which I can very well agree to, I am glad that a day was set aside to commemorate his birth, even though I get to celebrate his birth, death and resurrection on a daily basis.
Another reason I love Christmas is because of all the memories I have about past Christmases with my family back home in Nigeria. But the one person I miss the most during Christmas is my darling Sister-in-law (Aunty Angela). She taught us the Christmas tradition of giving and sharing. She taught us to buy gifts for one another, wrap them beautifully and keep them under the Christmas tree. There was a budget for everyone and she provided us money to shop for whatever it was we wanted to buy. It didn’t matter if she got the least gift, she just wanted us to have fun and enjoy the process too. Prior to living with her and her family, I only knew Christmas to be a time of wearing new clothes, entertaining guests, and eating to stupor with frequent bouts of diarrhea. But I never knew about the giving aspect of Christmas. I only knew to take but not give and Aunty Angela taught me that in giving, my heart gets to explode with so much joy.
There was a part of the Christmas holidays I hated though which was cooking. Mehn, I hate cooking on a good day, then you get to make it worse by making me cook different delicacies for entertainment, my goodness! I just didn’t get it and it made me tense. We had to wake up very early to start cooking and we cooked the whole day. I just didn’t get why we had to be so stressed on Christmas day when we could visit other people instead and eat their food (what a selfish way to think), lol. I had a partner in crime – my niece Oiza who was just like me, we both hated cooking so we grumbled and complained our way through the day. On the other hand, my sister Tere, enjoyed her way through the process because she truly enjoyed cooking and she did most of the cooking anyways. Oiza and I just wanted to “chill and be taken kiaruf”, but trust my aunty to always call us out.
Now that I have my own home, I can see that all I was made to do then have shaped me into the woman I am now. While I still do not like cooking, I have at least continued with the tradition of exchange of gifts (which I love and enjoy) within my family and outside my family as well. I taught my husband and friends the importance of giving during the season and they have taught others as well.
You may say giving is just a habit of exchanging stuff and it isn’t a big deal. But I can say that the reason we get to celebrate Christmas in the first place is because God sent his only son, Jesus to the earth to live as an ordinary man and die for our sins so we could have the kind of access Adam and Eve made us to lose in the garden of Eden. So giving teaches us that all we have has been given to us, the more reason we should give in return, not just during Christmas but at every opportunity we get. Christmas is that reminder in case we haven’t been giving as we ought to.
Give a gift of love this season, step out of your comfort zone and give a gift of love to somebody, anybody, deserving or not and you will be glad you did.