Christmas with the Family, from a certain Nigerian teenager.

Since I can remember, my family has had a traditional way of celebrating Christmas which gives us our own identity as a family, and I would not change it for anything. Every Christmas morning, our catholic faith makes us wake up with great enthusiasm to go to the church. As usual, my parents wake up early and go to my sisters’ rooms and to mine screaming “Today is the birth of Jesus, wake up, wake up!”. When we hear their voices, we wake up with energy and good humor because we know the next step in the morning is to go to church.

We have gone to the same church for years because we are glad to see and spend time with our dear neighbors in the church. We always sat next to them, as well. Also, I feel exalted when my father begins to pray (yes, I’m a pastor’s child) for the poor, sick people or people living with disabilities. Clearly, during the morning we can feel a peaceful atmosphere and great gratitude to God in our hearts.
After a peaceful morning, we spend a very active afternoon preparing all the things that we will need for the big celebration at night. As customary, we go to buy some gifts that we had not previously purchased. For example, my little sister´s present is not bought until the last minute because she is too picky and she cannot decide what things she wants easily, so we have to go many places to get her present.
The best part of the celebration is the food! We prepare our traditional Christmas dishes which consist of Smokey Jollof rice, Salad/Coleslaw, tasty turkey/chicken, goat meat peppersoup and of course, the legendary cake my mother specially bakes. I never would change our dishes because they not only represent our traditions but also are delicious. In short, the afternoon is the moment when we are busy getting ready for the night celebration.

Finally, the Christmas tree lights show us that the night is here. We start our celebrations eating our delicious dishes. According to our beliefs, the Christmas dinner is the perfect moment to talk and share some stories of things that have happened during the year. While we are eating, the varied sound and wonderful designs of fireworks announce that it is 12:00, so we hug each other and exchange our presents. One of the rules my mother enforced is that the presents have to be made by hand. She always gives us original and creative pajamas which she had started making in November. Well, being a fashion designer usually comes in handy for her in times like this.

I love the scene when we are hugging, laughing, and showing love because if anyone would film it, I am sure we would win the Oscar for the best family movie. In conclusion, the dinner, the fireworks, and the presents indicate how we celebrate our typical and hilarious Christmas.


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