To write only 5 things I love about Christmas is very limiting because from old the things to love about this season are countless but let me comb through my brain and pick out the top 5. Are you ready?
1. Christmas liturgy
I am a Catholic Christian and Christmas is preceded by a season we call Advent. It is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at Christmas and the return of Christ at the Second Coming. During advent in mass, we do not sing the Gloria. Just as the Church refrains from the Gloria during Lent, She does the same during Advent, which is another great season of preparation for a greater mystery – the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. This is because Advent is a penitential season of the Church, just like Lent. Even though the Church sings “Alleluia” during Advent, She gives us this penitential season to call us to the same conversion that St. John the Baptist called the Jews as they awaited the arrival of the Messiah.
Because the Gloria is a prayer/song of joy, it is suppressed during Advent and is not heard until the vigil Mass of Christmas Eve. The return of Gloria in mass excites me a lot. We chant and it is a real celebration signifying the Nativity of the child Jesus. The decorations, the songs all make the liturgy very special for me.
2. The food
Of course, I love food in case you were wondering. Christmas has been blamed for getting us to overeat because many families at least in Africa will outdo themselves. This is our excuse to overeat without raising eyebrows. The food is not different from the normal but it is just that it is in plenty. But again it is a festivity so we shouldn’t be surprised. In our household, our mother is the main chef of the day and it doesn’t matter whether 2 people showed up for Christmas that year, she will cook everything there is. There is always too much food but all that said and done, I love the food even when I am left immobile for a while.
3. The Holidays
This is a perfect time to go slow on the hustle and bustle of life. We take off some time to breathe, put our legs up, sleep longer and not worry about a meeting or clients. It may be for a few days but it is worth it. I know this is not for everyone but at least for the most majority, it is a constant. People are able to catch up with family and some even get the opportunity to check on their parents. I love the holidays. If there is a vacation in there, the better.
4. Play dress up
The young girl in me still looks forward to dressing up for Christmas. When we were still younger, Christmas translated to a new dress, but now that we are older we look forward to being smartly dressed even if the dress is not new. I love to watch the glee on children’s faces as they show up for mass on Christmas day. It is always evident that they have a new ensemble and would like the whole world to know it. Christmas dress-up is pure joy.
5. Christmas songs
Christmas songs are always taken out at the end of the year but they never grow old. I love to listen to Christmas songs. They are nostalgic and carry with them very many memories from the old good times. These songs are the ones that always usher us into December and I love them.
Bonus; Christmas decorations
Like I said in the beginning, 5 is too limiting so I had to throw in a bonus one. There is a tree that we used to cut while we were young, I don’t know the English name but most Ugandans know ‘akakomera’. It also doubled as a fence in many homes before concrete walls robbed us of the joy of community. These days we have modern Christmas trees that can be re-used and don’t leave a whole mess like the other one but it still does not beat the original tree. There is something about this Christmas decor that adds to the hype of the season. Decorating as a family also gives quality time to catch up.
What are the 5 things you love about Christmas?