This is my first Christmas as a mom. No doubt I’m quite excited, and grateful to God for bestowing me this blessing.
And, it’s got me remembering my Christmas’s as a young girl.
Christmas when I was a kid used to begin quite early. About a week before 25th, I remember my two brothers and I would humbly approach my mum and ask her for permission to decorate the house with ‘Christmas decorations’. Ofcourse, being the youngest, I used to be the one to do the actual asking. And when permission was granted, my brothers would happily scamper outside on a scavenge mission for Christmas trees –which meant haphazardly pruning down neighbors overgrown fig trees. Then we would decorate the tree with those mushaino shainos, balloons, Christmas tree lights and Christmas cards the family had received. We would then hang the paper decorations and baloons all around the sitting room wall (but careful not to interfere with mum’s money-maker plant located at the corner of the house (every house had those ones, right?).
And all week long, we would feel so good waiting for the actual day. I donno about you, but we would find it very difficult to sleep on Christmas Eve as the excitement would be all too much. On Christmas Eve, mum would allow us to sleep at whatever time our weary little bodies would shut down. We would spend it beating stories, singing Christmas carols and marvelling at the (now half withered) Christmas tree.
Then come Christmas morning -a day that I always thought would never arrive! Especially because it meant that I would get to wear my new dress. Oh the anticipated joy! And it was always a dress that my mum had sewn for me. For some reason, she never preferred to buy me a
ready-made dress, but instead she always chose to personally tailor one for me. She would begin taking my measurements weeks before Christmas, and then during her off days from work, patiently sew it piece by piece. My most memorable dress was a polka dotted blue dress she made for me. I always wondered why she would spend all that time sewing a dress while it was so much easier to buy one. But now I think I do. Taking time to personally stitch something for your child is so precious. During my free moments as a mom, I’ll be knitting cardigans for Kitty –even if it’ll take me a year to complete one.
And as we prepared for church on Christmas day, mum would play Jim Reeve’s songs on the radio, and we would sing along making the Christmas spirit all so nice. And then the family would walk to church. Dad, mum, sister, two brothers and I. I remember the feeling of
walking around in a new dress all too well. The walk to church always made me feel like a little princess, more so because my mum would have held up my hair in a ponytail (with a new hairband), then added onto my ears white clip-on plastic earrings (oh yes!). On that day, she would also have allowed me to use her sophisticated body lotion, Lady Gay. Now add on the white pumps, and I felt indomitable as I sashayed my way into St. Phillips ACK Church Jericho.
Once inside the church, the Waweru brood would sit at around the fourth or fifth pew from the front. It’s as though families had ‘specific’ seating spots. Ours was the fourth or fifth row, right behind the Otiende’s.
Upon our return home, mum would prepare a sumptuous meal of pilau, chapatis and kuku kienyeji and other delicacies.
After lunch, my brothers and I would then jitokelezea outside alongside other neighborhood kids, me with every intent of displaying my new dresses to them, and they in turn with the same exact specific intent as mine. The boys never bothered about new clothes as they were more focused on playing the football game of ‘one touch’.
And as the sun set, none of us ever wanted to believe the day was over. The one day we had been looking forward to all year was gone –just like that.
Anyway, that was how Christmas was marked as a kid. But today I’m all growned up and it’s my time to start making Christmas memorable for my family, and specifically Kitty. So what will I do for Kitty on this his first Christmas? I’m still trying to think.
And as I do so, I wish you a merry Christmas and a blessed 2012.