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.
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.
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
About the author:
the tumbled man, in a tumbledown world,
am I standing on my head,
or is the world upside down.