The christmas of my childhood

Nostalgic!

As l looked out the window and saw the miserable dreary weather again this morning with the incessant rainfall, l suddenly had a feeling of nostalgia about my childhood Christmas in the hot and sunny Nigerian weather. I miss it. 😢

Christmas in my childhood was usually spent in my village, the beautiful picturesque town of Ososo in Edo state, Nigeria. Most Nigerian families prefer to spend their Christmas in their respective village, instead of the city. This is mainly because most relatives go to the village for Christmas and it becomes an opportunity to see everyone and have a catch-up. It is also more fun because of the way Christmas is celebrated in the village.

Christmas in my village was a wonderful experience. We woke up to a foggy and cool weather known as harmattan. It could be a little cold for a while before the brilliant sun came out and once again you are filled with the warmth that only sunshine can bring. The harmattan weather only happens in December l think. 🤔

Christmas was special for every kid. The tradition is to buy or make brand new clothes for children which won’t be worn until Christmas Day. Imagine the excitement for us kids! 👯‍♂️. Although we liked Christmas decorations and visiting Father Christmas 🎅🏽, the most important thing to us kids was our brand new Christmas dress and shoes. Gift giving at Christmas is not our Christmas tradition, therefore it was all about dressing up on Christmas Day.

We always attend the midnight mass on Christmas Eve, which was fondly called WATCH NIGHT DAY. Maybe it was because the shepherds in the bible stayed awake all night, watching for the star and waiting for Jesus to be born as the angel Gabriel told them. That must be it. 🤔 Anyway, my dad drove the whole family to church to celebrate the nativity mass with our relatives and friends. l loved singing the Christmas carols even if l didnt know all the words. 😃 The kids tried hard to stay awake but we always fell asleep 😴 before the end of the church service. So cute! 😍

On Christmas days, I remember waking up to the lovely aroma of goat meat roasting on the open fire at the back our house. Goat meat was the preferred meat at Christmas, not turkey. Most families bought their own live goat which had to be prepared for cooking by the men. My little brothers always joined in, thinking of themselves as men too. 😃 How cute!

We would have a quick shower, eager to put on our new clothes. No one had to scold us into having a shower on Christmas Day, not when we had new beautiful clothes to wear and show our friends. 😃

Another Christmas tradition in Nigeria is to share cooked Christmas meals with your next door neighbours. It was usually a big bowl of rice and stew with lots of meat. Sometimes it is pounded yam with melon soup (egusi). So you could receive up to 3 or 4 different dishes to sample on Christmas Day. It was fantastic! 😋

After eating, the kids would play outside with their friends in the hope of watching the masquerades dance on the streets. A few masquerades appear at Christmas to excite children and chase them around playfully. Sometimes we go visit relatives we haven’t seen in a long time. I know l always preferred playing with my friends and waiting for the masquerades to appear. 😃 No sitting around and watching TV on Christmas Day when we could be strutting around in our brand new Christmas clothes for all to see. 👯‍♂️

Christmas was all about the kids. Parents made sure they had new clothes and shoes to wear. Adults do not have to wear new clothes , but the kids do. The weather was just right. Not too hot with a cool harmattan breeze. Ah! That was the Christmas of my childhood and l miss it terribly today. 😢

Does anyone want to share the Christmas of their childhood, especially in a different country? I bet it’s fun too.

Have a fantastic weekend people.

Much love 💖

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02.01 | 11:50

Thanks a lot Jo. That means so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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28.12 | 11:28

Well done Franca. I've enjoyed reading your books and I'm super proud of you not just as a fellow woman but as an ex banking colleague. Looking forward to more

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16.11 | 16:36

The next book will be out next month.

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16.11 | 16:35

Thanks a lot Paula

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