Its that time of year, again.
I’m going to have to admit it is really hard for me to believe that it’s Christmas. The subtle changes of seasons don’t provide a constant time check that says ‘ Its getting cold, leaves are falling, rain is falling, snow is falling, ready…..ready… its CHRISTMAS!’ I mean, just last week, I was out motoring around in the muddy fields, talking to farmers not about Christmas, but about how much rain will come and what the harvest will be like this year. And our public space isn't invaded with Christmas decorations. Take a look at what the main drag of
This isn’t the first time I’m going to be spending Christmas away from home and in
And today, being Christmas eve, I was out on the town and came across a sight that seems to symbolize what I'm trying to say.
Consider exibit A. Zambian Santa.
I know that this is Zambian Santa, because notice the nice booty.
Exhibit B. notice the gum boots (its rainy season) and face mask ( masks, are hot items).
And then, Santa here, has a whole other persona.
I mean, sure, there isn't a 'HO HO HO' but this Santa has a street style all his own. I don’t know what I enjoy more, his high pitched screech, his ‘HELLO!HOW IS ZAMBIA?', or the fact that he has completely blow apart any childhood image of a nice old Santa, sitting in a mall, bells ringing in the background, nice instrumental 'silent night, or the fact that instead of riding around in a sleigh and upholding an image of gentleness and care, he’s scurrying around Lusaka accosting people. *sigh*. Randomness. I love it.
But really, besides today's randomness, overall, Christmas here is a pretty low-key event. You can walk down any street and there isn’t much that will remind you that it is Christmas. Most households just use the time for family, go to church and if there is extra money, cook special meal. And I think that I kind of like the low-key nature. I used to think that I enjoyed this mostly because I’m kind of afraid ( yes, I think afraid is the right word) of the consumerism that overtakes our communities back home during this time of year. That maybe I was happy that there wasn't a lot of western influence (yet) on this holiday. But yesterday, it kind of hit me that I realised that I kind of like the low key nature of all of this because it means there are fewer reminders that I am going to be away from family.
My family isn’t religious in the traditional sense. Actually, what am I talking about? We’re not even religious in the non-traditional sense! I think that we can count the total times anyone has ever gone to church on one, maybe two hands. Christmas for us has been much more about family getting together and with my brothers and I dispersed across the country (and world) these days, the holidays has been much more about that. It is a time for us to spend time together, catch each other up with our lives, make fun of each other, cook feasts, regress back to childhood tendencies (this includes my mother of course) and remind my dad that yes, he just may be more of a circus ringmaster than head of the household. And now that we’ve got little ones in the midst, I’m sure that it will only add to our barnyard antics. Holidays really, is a time where I always remember how lucky I am to have such characters in my family, and how truly special I am as a sister, and a daughter.
I’m going to miss my family – mom, dad, mel, KH, wild man, KY, Janice, jada, KK, becca and of course, dear little izzy. A lot. I’ll be thinking about all of you from this side of the world ( yes, as I take a 2 day train ride out to the coast and
Have a safe and wonderful holiday everyone and hope that 2008 will be the best one yet.