A lot is changing around us and Christmas has not been spared. A lot has changed and many attest to that saying, “The spirit of Christmas is long lost to us.” However, we must also appreciate that these changes come with age because some children still await Christmas with glee. And it is also affected by location because in the villages, unlike in towns, the preparations are in high gear.
Maureen Moriah Mukisa
Spending time with family is a value we have always shared. In my childhood, my father would gather us along with other close family members and we would share beautiful moments at the beach each year. Each family would come with a well prepared meal and the fun was immense. He was the glue that brought us together and I miss him now that he is gone. I am, however, happy that lately families are beginning to come together again. We should not lose this because it is the best part of Christmas.
Douglas Benda Kasule
The most interesting part was the statement “that chicken is for Christmas, feed it well so that it is healthy enough!” Then on Christmas eve, the experience of chasing the chicken around the whole village to slaughter it, the falls and bruises from bushes and the like were hilarious and very rare these days. The other change is in the gifts given. There was definitely new clothes bought for each of us for Christmas and we would unwrap them either on Christmas Eve or early on the morning of Christmas Day and then wear then to church. Nowadays, most things are done every day; chicken is eaten often thus not a thing to look forward to. Some people even work on Christmas, making it look like any other day.
It was exciting as a child because I looked forward to the new Christmas clothes and gifts. Besides, family gatherings were joyful and full of feasting. This is unlike now when responsibilities are too many; guess that comes with growing up. The gatherings are also less interesting owing to the many grudges held among family members not to mention the bragging that turns Christmas gatherings into more of a show off event. I would rather stay at home with my children who I think understand me better. To add to that, the cost of feasting is so high that I would rather spend the little I have on my family than contributing to a gathering of people who do not care.
For me, a lot has changed. For example, Christmas came with special clothing, new shoes and this was properly planned. Now any decent clothes will do. Christmas decor has also changed, from coloured toilet paper, cut newspapers and naturally grown Christmas trees. Now we buy ready-made decorations and I actually have a Christmas tree that I have owned for the last 10 years. Growing up, Christmas was about family, extended family. We would all cook and eat together although food was from different homes. Now, there is a tendency of going to hotels and having Christmas lunch.
During childhood, Christmas was about family. Designing an itinerary for the Christmas holiday was a must and it included: looking for the best Christmas tree, decorating the tree with toilet paper and cotton wool, goat roasting, movie watching (Sound of Music), checking on grandparents and above all giving what we did not need to the needy. Church was also a must attend. Currently, I am only invited for lunch after the church service. Christmas for me, is the time for reflection.
Angela Kiiza Kyomugisha
The excitement of having to look for the Christmas tree as a family, decorating it, the new gifts, assurance of meeting the extended family when you travel was Christmas while growing up. Nowadays, the excitement is not as it used to be. Christmas trees are already artificially decorated and sold in supermarkets, not giving children the excitement to pick and shape the tress. The travels have also reduced greatly hence the opportunity to see and spend time with extended family is almost not there as people spend so much in hotels.