Kids today have no idea of the hustle back then. To them, soda and chicken is just any other item on the dining table. Back in the day, a bottle of your favourite soda and plate of rice and chicken was a near-heaven experience capped with donning brand new fresh from the “kaveera” clothes.
The real Christmas starts on the night of the 24th after the church service. That night of the eve, your eyes would hardly close like fish swimming in water. The thought of mouthwatering food, new clothes and soda was all one needed to stay up all night until sleep crept in like a thief.
The morning the church is filled to full capacity; even people who never go to church attend church on this day. People get to wear their new attire, especially for women to show off their new traditional dresses, mostly kitenge and gomesi for the wealthier in rich colors with matching turbans.
Children too wore mostly ill-fitting over-sized clothes “that they would grow in them”. Yes, that was called advance planning and insurance for the inevitable; growth of the child. If you doubt just gloss over the photo albums!
Christmas was more like the only time you would pose for a family photo taken by that camera man who kept the “negative to himself till you paid!” Today, you are all taking selfies! For those who had relatives in big towns, they added much pomp to the party because they came with more food, drinks and gifts.
Christmas was (is) about sharing, love, food, family and new clothes. Chicken plays a central role in Christmas feasting. Families that couldn’t afford chicken any other time somehow would find a way to purchase chickens that day. The news that somebody cannot afford chicken was met with great sadness. The process of getting ready and preparing the meal was not a chore, but a joy. Love was the major ingredient.
The feasting was characterized by music and dancing. The party went all night till the 26th. Days after, the most trending stories would be how one “ate” Christmas. So, how will you “eat” your Christmas!