Why The Holiday Cheer Still Fascinates Me.
To say this year has flown by would be an understatement, it felt like nothing short of a rocket launch. One moment you’re wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year, very hopeful that it will be a kick-ass year bearing lots of positive change, because it’s 2016. Then next you’re trying to figure out what the hell is going on, because it’s all of a sudden crushing due to all the pressure from every corner of your life. It’s borne lots of negative events day in day out, and as short as it felt, some of its days felt extra-long. Oh, the irony!
From it being a tough financial year in our economy with so many businesses closing down or walking a tightrope, others downsizing and retrenching, inflation and a general sense of instability; corporates battling with corporate governance issues; corruption scandals in our government left right and center; lack of proper structures to fairly reward the people who put their lives on the line to ensure that we’re a happy-healthy nation – our police, doctors, teachers, all the while our politicians (and many other greedy people) drown in ill-gotten wealth; strikes; death of people who meant a lot to us, even notable figures in the world who shaped their industries; countries that are still war-torn carrying out massacres; terror attacks; insecurity in our streets; broken homes; road carnage due to negligence; and last but not least, the results of the US elections – it was a shock to many, it’s yet to sink in. It feels like we’re in for a surprise, but we don’t know which direction the surprise will go.
In a nutshell, it was that kind of year. The kind you want to wrap up fast, quick, let go and pray that the only way from there is up. That 2017 is going to be a year that allows us to breathe easy. Even if it’s our election year in Kenya, it’s possible. It’s possible for people to just want for peace, love and unity around them, right? We say those words loosely, not remembering that it’s part of our loyalty pledge, and that it’s our responsibility (each one of us) to perpetuate it – whether in our homes, our work places, or on the streets.
“I pledge my loyalty to the president and the nation of Kenya. My readiness and duty to defend the flag of our republic. My devotion to the words of our National Anthem. My life and strength in the task of our nation’s building. In the living spirit embodied in our national motto – Harambee! And perpetuated in the Nyayo philosophy of peace love and unity.” Kenyan Loyalty Pledge.
When we were quickly approaching December, our spirits were dampened (and are probably still are) by all the negative things that continue to transpire by the day. Mine still is. But once we got into the festive season, for some reason, we were able to suppress these feelings enough to see the goodness of the people around us. That our updates for a hot moment are serially “happy holidays” and many other nice wishes for those around you. And for once in the year, the trending topic is something ‘happy-related’.
And that brings me to the reason why I’m fascinated by the holidays and mostly at Christmas time. See, the holiday season puts some sparkle in our eyes and some cheerful spirit in our houses. I don’t know whether it’s the sparkly decorations, the bright colors, flickering lights or the long public holidays, but there’s something about it that lights us up.
This year I did not put up decorations, which is what mostly reminds us that the festive season is here. Initially, I was feeling too lazy to source for them, and then when I got the energy to do it, we realized we’d just moved into a new house and we’d spent quite a bit during the moving process. The last thing we were going to do is spend an extra coin on decorations that would be up for about 2 weeks at most. We had to prioritize, but next year we shall be full-on, God willing. I’m already amped. Ha ha and that there was an accidental test that shows that it’s more than the decorations.
It’s the conversations and vibes that go on during this period, they are always about togetherness. We plan parties, where we’ll go eat, dance, drink and just make merry. We organize visits to our loved ones, bond with them and pack up enough love and warmth to last us till the next holiday. We plan road trips with our friends and family, to see the beauty nature has to offer us. We take some time off the hustle and bustle of our lives to get some R&R. We just embrace the season and celebrate that Jesus was born.
Well, I spent mine catching up on Christmas movies because the cheerfulness they radiate rubs off on me, although some are real tearjerkers, that makes me happy too. The mister is not into that rom-com/sappy stuff, so he also caught up on his action-packed movies. We packed up on a lot of comfort food too, I mean talk of home fries, roasted pork, chicken (in all its cooked forms – roasted, stewed, fried…name it), pasta e.t.c. I also attended parties hosted by friends and family (who had decorated their houses, yay!), and equally hosted friends over. The one thing we didn’t manage to do is go visit our folks because we were not in a position to travel. That sucked much, but we’ll definitely make it up soon.
You know, when all is said and done, I really thank God for the year that has been, through its ups and downs. May the downs be the lessons we learn to help us navigate through life and propel us into being better persons and subsequently, a better nation. And the ups, may they inspire us to do better and be better as individuals and as a society, so that we can have more of those. God knows we need those ups in 2017.
Just before the holidays ends, because I know most of you are still out-of-office (I’m a little jealous of that). I wish you a genuinely happy holiday.
Continue spreading the cheer, because when it comes from your heart, it doesn’t matter what’s going on around us, that warmth is felt by those around you and its effect will be a strong positive.
Lots of love, light and peace to you Fam.
Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*