Advent Calendar Day 13: Christmas in Zimbabwe by Beaton


Christmas in Zimbabwe by Beaton

I know it’s Christmas when I walk down First Street and the Christmas lights are strung up and lit. On the official switching on ceremony there is a carol by candlelight night, a night of Christmas carols.
I know it’s Christmas time when the Africa Unity Square Park is full of lights and the fountain is painted and spouting water as it should.

merry xmas

Christmas lights beaton.png

Christmas is never Christmas until Mariah Carey released a Christmas album…. “All I want for Christmas…..”
(Confession if I could marry anyone’s voice, that’s what I wanted for Christmas for a long time …..)
Growing up I remember this Bata Shoes advert that used to show on the television every Christmas season sang by a bunch of cute kids…. with lines “I hear the bells ringing, I see the stars shining its Christmas time…..” I loved that commercial, I guess those kids are all grown up now.
Christmas in my memories smells like new clothes.

Almost every Christmas growing up we used to get new clothes and so on Christmas day we would be all brand new and mum would let us eat in the fancy dinner set that for the rest of the year lived in a glass display case in the lounge, and we were not allowed to so much as breathe on it.
Christmas meant meeting the rest of the family because everyone would go to kumusha (that’s where the roots are) where the grandparents lived, generations of families under one roof. Grandma always baked a cake with rainbow colours in her Dover wood stove. How I loved that cake and all its pretty colours. Christmas tasted like all you can eat slices of bread spread generously with red mixed fruit jam and served in a tray.

sun beatonbread beaton





Christmas tasted like free range chicken, coleslaw salad and lots of rice. Sometimes not every year maybe once in a couple of years granddad would say “Let there be meat” and a cow be slaughtered for feasting.

I never really believed Santa was there and climbed down chimneys to leave presents. Santa was a chubby character in a red jump suit with a protruding belly probably made of pillows and a beard of cotton wool (I could tell as a kid) and lived in a chair in the department store. You would go and sit on his lap and get a photo taken and he would give you a gift box. Now that I think about it I think parents would pay for this service, I wonder how much it cost.
Christmas sounds like Christmas carols and loud festive music blaring out of stereos on the doors of shops and people stopping to dance.

I remember this lesson from high school by my social ethics teacher who is now late rest her soul; Sister Depache, where she told us that we must never shorten Christmas to Xmas as that meant we were making an Ex out of Christ like an ex boyfriend or girlfriend. Ever since then I have never shortened Christmas I always write it in full; Christmas.

Christmas is full of childhood memories I remember the house full of Christmas decorations and a tree. Now it just passes like almost any other day of the week, no decorations, no carols, no new Christmas clothes special, or even Christmas cards, But This year I bought a pack of Christmas cards and posting to a lucky few. Maybe its just tough economic times maybe Christmas is for the children but Christmas just isn’t the way I remember it.
Has Mariah Carey done a new Christ album this year? Thats all I want for Christmas and oh so much more

Stay festive

About the author:

the tumbled man, in a tumbledown world,beaton


am I standing on my head,

or is the world upside down.

I blog from and sometimes I tweet @beatonm5 and the instagram @beatonm5

27 thoughts on “Advent Calendar Day 13: Christmas in Zimbabwe by Beaton

  1. You’re right, Christmas is for the kids. I rediscovered it when I got grandchildren. For them, it seems worth it to decorate and bake and wrap presents. They tear the paper, spread it around, then they put on loud music and dance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In my family Christmas seems to be something for everyone, personally it’s always been my favourite holiday. And by far more important than my birthday. I never cared too much about the presents, it was about being together. My grandparents were young parents and young grandparents, so they never had the time to realise that it was for the kids. (my grandfather was 46 when I arrived and his youngest child was 13 at the time).

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I was born on Christmas Day so for me, it’s the most special day of the year. I want everyone around me to be happy on Christmas and I bend over backwards to try to make it true. So for me, Christmas is not just for the kids. Kids make it more special but Christmas is a special day for everyone.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Now Corina, that is the best combination! my birthday falls into August, so it’s often forgotten and neglected, and my favourite holiday is Christmas. I guess as a kid it is annoying… but I guess you have a great birthday every year as you are surrounded by your loved ones.
      I agree with you, it is a day for everyone!


  3. I have that same feeling about Christmas. It used to be full of family and food and decoration. Now I live alone and it seem like a lot of trouble to decorate. I probably will work on Christmas day. It doesn’t really bother me though. I guess we change. Because it used to be so very important to me and now I’m OK with just seeing it in passing glimpses during the season.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I feel Christmas is so much about coming together with the family, often living far away in different part of the country or even abroad, so it’s always very special and a time to celebrate together. Thinking about it, we have always had children around. I was still a teenager when my older brother and his wife had their first child. Then as they were older I became a mother…and so on…it must be a tough time to be alone though.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have to smile. I grew up Presbyterian and we were told it was okay to write an “X” instead of “Christ” because in Roman times “X” was the secret symbol Christians used to identify each other on the sly. Don’t know that any of it matters, as long as peace and goodwill toward men are the focus of the holiday. Have a joyful one! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good will to all man
      interesting tidbit I did not know that I”ll be sure to include it next time I tell the Sister DePace story ^_^
      compliments of the season

      Liked by 2 people

  6. We have our own tradition about new clothes. You have to put them all on which, if you’ve been given a dozen pairs of socks, as I was one year, can be a challenge and cause some hilarity.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I don’t like to shorten Christmas either. Not for Sister Depache’s reasons but because this time of year is just a beautiful moment among family and friends. That matters much more than the gifts. For me, at least. I really like this series, Solveig, as we travel (virtually) to different homes and even countries. See you tomorrow.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Reblogged this on becoming the muse and commented:
    If you were having coffee with me…..
    we would be having tea served with a tray-full of bread slices spread generously with red mixed fruit Sun Jam and that is what Christmas tastes like.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is always so enjoyable reading about what Xmas … sorry, Christmas 🙂 means to different cultures, to different people. Thank you for this post – and I am sorry, but I don’t believe Mariah Carey’s latest album “#1 to Infinity” has any Christmas songs in it! Maybe next year … 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I found it a little hard to get into the swing of Christmas this year but eventually got there. I do believe that Christmas is for everyone and you’re never too old to celebrate in style.
    Our family also had Geoff’s family tradition of having to do a bit of a fashion parade when you were given clothes. One year, my uncle was givena pair of men’s swimmers called Speedos. They’re almost like underpants. He was a good sport though and even posed for my camera!

    Liked by 2 people

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