It’s that time of the year again and I suppose it’s about time you started behaving before Christmas if you haven’t already because you’re bound to get struck off Santa’s list and then you’ll be the Scrooge of Christmas because you didn’t get anything in your fancy stocking that you put up. Christmas time is awesome and it reminds me of that fabulous song by Cliff Richards where he talks about mistletoe and wine. He paints a perfect picture of a white Christmas but that’s not possible here in Kenya unless you’re on top of Mount Kenya amidst the snow for the cold ambiance at your Christmas do.
Our Christmas in Kenya is amazing. The sun is shining bright and hot and we have skinny Santas who aren’t white and have got strange stuck-on beards scaring the bajeezus out of the kids and adults who visit malls over the festive period. We’ve come a long way where Christmas is concerned. A few years ago it used to be going to Church and doing a family meal together while non-Christians had a day to lie in and go to one of the three restaurants that were probably open on a public holiday. Things have really changed now. Restaurants are open as are malls and many other places that cater to different needs. It is slowly being realised you don’t have to be celebrating the true Christmas to indulge in turkey, cranberry sauce and the whole nine yards with the special meal one serves up at this time.
My festivities in UK were very traditional. My aunt was big on getting the turkey and doing the whole thing from fabulous crystal to crackers, silverware to bottles of wine, Christmas turkey with sausage stuffing right down to the brandy glazed pudding. It was an awesome experience while I lived there. Besides the food, there were also the presents to think about and the cards. Everyone got presents – even Thomas the cat.
This used to get a bit difficult for me because I was always a broke student. Actually, even if your parents are multi-billionaires you are meant to be a broke student. You are not deemed an ally if you don’t borrow a few pounds every now and then and proclaim to be skint. Anyway, from being a broke student I have now graduated to being a struggling professional. That means I’m still broke when it comes to gifts at Christmas so I start planning in advance. Sue me if you get offended when I tell you that I recycle gifts. I know everyone does it. Only some can openly admit it. Sometimes the kids gets birthday presents which are identical and because the wrapping has been torn off and there is no way of identifying who gave what so it may be exchanged the gift goes into a cupboard in my guest room and it gets whipped out and wrapped in Christmassy paper and is put under the tree or given to someone. I mean, what else can you do with a duplicate gift anyway?
Besides recycling I also tend to buy stuff throughout the year when some shops have sales or I come across something I have no use for but find it so cheap that I must buy it and keep it. Stop rolling your eyes at me. If you aren’t doing the same already I know I have planted a seed of future actions in you! It makes sense. Buy when you can, store it and gift it when the occasion calls for it because at Christmas you have so many other expenses to deal with that buying nice gifts for loved ones can take a huge toll on your bank balance.
So have yourselves a fabulous Christmas. I remember that by Day 5 after Christmas in UK we’d be fed up of left-over turkey and the only way to enjoy it without throwing it away was to come up with interesting recipes. Having said that, after eating left-over turkey for a whole week, it was always safe to say, ‘I’m never eating turkey ever again’ and of course we all understood that ‘never’ in this context meant until the following year!