I love December in South Africa. It’s a good time to be on holiday – not only because of Christmas, but also for the long summer days, weather suited to the outdoors, and braai after endless braai.
There’s just something about Christmas that I love. I know there are Scrooges out there every year who can’t stand carols and heaving shopping malls and Boney M. But for me, it’s not about that stuff. It’s a magical time of year. As a family, we bought a Christmas tree and decorated it while listening to Josh Groban’s Noel Christmas album. We put together a carols evening with Rudi and some other church friends and had a blast rehearsing some of the most haunting and ancient melodies in church history.
And this year, we got to enjoy a Christmas at the farm with Tam’s folks. A year ago, Rachel was a bit young to get overly excited about Christmas presents. This year it was different. There was shredded wrapping paper all over the farmhouse, no matter how hard we tried to prevent it. Having just celebrated her second birthday, Rachel is completely comfortable with the idea that presents are there to be opened and every single one belongs to her.
Adam, thankfully, just lay and kicked about happily under the Christmas tree. We’ll brace ourselves for when he starts moving and talking.
But I will admit: I love just how infectious the excitement of children is at Christmas time.
“Ooooooh!” exclaimed Rachel as the Christmas tree lights are switched on, followed by “Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!” and frenetic running around the lounge. “Agooo,” added Adam, all of 11 weeks old. It’s difficult not to chuckle.
It’s easy to forget the joy of Christmas when you’re slogging away daily all year round. For me, Christmas time while I was growing up was all about big family get-togethers, an abudance of wrapping paper, big meal times and of course, true to any indigenous Saffa, at least 3 hours each day of the holidays made up of garden cricket.
Back then, all of that stuff just happened – things just fell into place, as if by natural design, Christmas is supposed to be a peaceful, happy and joyous relief from the daily grind throughout the year. Christmas, for me, always pans out in a way that’s as if God himself is orchestrating it all as a means of reminding us that Jesus came, amidst all the chaos, to bring peace and joy and love.
I count myself truly blessed that Christmas has been so wonderful all my 29 years, surrounded by the most amazing family and friends. I hope you all experienced and continue to experience the same peace, joy and love. Seasons’ greetings ya’ll!