Christmas is in the air! It is our favourite time of the year. Do you have any fond childhood memories of Christmas? Two yummy mummys narrate their childhood memories of this special season.
Ugochi Nwanze is married and a mum of 3 beautiful children. Here is her story.
“Growing up in Festac in the early eighties, I recall Christmas with fond nostalgia. The harmattan season was our own version of a ‘White Christmas,’ with the dry cold air, bare trees, dusty haze, masses of dry leaves littered just about anywhere, and so on. The atmosphere totally had the air of Christmas, which is sadly devoid these days despite the elaborate display of Christmas decorations in public places.
“In my home, my mum was (still is) very big on Christmas. Sometimes, it was a chilled affair at home, sometimes; we travelled down to the east to reconnect with our roots and once, we spent it at a luxurious hotel. However, the basic elements in my home were: the Christmas music (I fondly remember my mum’s penchant for Boney M and Diana), which she would start playing from the wee hours of the morning on the 1st of December. As kids, we would make our own paper decorations and go crazy with all of that. I remember having a Christmas cake, buckets of ice cream, jelly and the usual fried rice with plenty of chicken and assorted chops, as the usual staples of our Christmas lunch table. Coming from a large family of 4 sisters and 3 brothers, our dining table was a really long affair, to accommodate extended family members and guests inclusive. It was often a flurry of activities but the warmth of it all remains with me till date.
“As a young mum of 3 kids with a home of my own, I try to recreate this magic by bringing my own ‘flavour’ to the mix. I try to infuse an urban yet Zen feel with music, slightly elaborate decorations, incense candles and gift giving. However, it would be incomplete without the usual weekend getaway at the grandparent’s home so that the kids get to hang out with them as well as their cousins, giving our children a fun time with loads of spontaneous outings, time-outs in the homes of close friends, plenty one-on-one pizza/movie nights at home with hubby, carol night in the church and most importantly, marking the 25th by attending mass because at the end of it all, Jesus is the reason for the season!”
Mrs. Uchendu is married and a mum to three amazing boys. She shares are story below…
“My love for Christmas began in my childhood. It was given centre stage by my dad and six siblings and I looked forward to the season with great expectations. There were brand new outfits to launch, great Christmas parties organized by my dad’s company to attend, a spread like none other prepared by my mum with my sisters and I helping, but this was not what stood out most about Christmas. The decorations we put up was the thrill. We took care hanging up shimmery Christmas and New Year garlands, bells with holly and ivy were strategically placed and we criss-crossed ropes in the living room on which we hung Christmas cards received and designed by us. We were an artistic lot and my dad encouraged us to draw. We replicated Christmas cards from previous years and in time designed cards of our own. Some of these went to uncles, aunts and grandparents.
Of all Christmas holidays, 1992’s stood out the most for me, and maybe my siblings too. That year, along with our elaborate decorations, we decided to recreate the manger. We turned a big carton on its side and designed it with palm fronds, a marble statue of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph was placed on a bed of soft grass and material. We also placed some plastic farm animals around and then strung Christmas lights around the carton. When we turned the lights on, it was magical! So much so that most nights when I thought everyone was in bed, I’ll creep downstairs to turn on the lights and soak in the magic of the manger, only to find some of my siblings seated there already. Beside the Manger was a moderately sized Christmas tree on which we had the holy family in pure milk chocolate as an ornament from a trip my dad returned from. I remember between our manger and the milk chocolate statue, we made a little opening from which we pinched chocolate bits. We were the happiest and most fulfilled kids that year and Christmas was a ball!
Now, that I have my own family blessed with three boys, aged 11, 9 and 6, I have somehow managed to preserve the mystery of Santa Clause and his delivery of gifts to kids who have been good. The decorations come up on the 1st of December yearly. We all join in, with the star or angel, placed after everything else has come up by my last son. We must have candy canes and other edible ornaments. The front door and walkway aren’t left out. Kids look forward to getting mails or a video directly from Santa in the North Pole. These missives usually address requests made in letters to Santa at some point in November. The Christmas stockings have my kids’ names embroidered on it and when they go to sleep on Christmas Eve, they are usually excited.
There’s always a Christmas themed cake on D-day and a spread prepared by me, to which neighbours, cousins and friends are welcome. Gifts are only opened after Church and lunch. Everyone has something under the tree which they can’t wait to get to!
What are your fond memories of Christmas? Share with other mums below.