This year’s Christmas was my best ever. Not because I had two end-of-year office parties. Not even because our Human Resource Manager decided to surprise us with KES 10 000 gift. Not even because my Adam had woken up with me beside him and a missing rib. Of course I am grateful all these gifts came my way, but this Christmas will be remarkable because I spent all my free time window shopping and collecting freebies from the malls.
Being an indoors person, I finally decided I should go out and take photos with Santa. All major shopping malls in town were not only giving discounts on select items, but also freebies. On Wednesday, I managed to go to Yaya Centre for a chat and photo with Santa – I also knew there were freebies since they gave me a free chocolate last Valentines as I went for my music lessons!
My son was very scared of Santa, even though he was very excited when I told him to get ready to go for a gift from him! I was the first in the queue and before the photographer came, my son and I had a quick chat with Santa. This time my son did not ask many questions as he did a few years ago when he first met Santa in a Supermarket in Eldoret town. Hiding behind the elephant sculpture at Nakumatt’s entrance, he’d shouted: ‘Does Santa wear an underwear?’ and everyone burst with laughter.
This time at Yaya he’d matured and the only thing he was interested in was the photo and his free gift!
Santa did tell us many things, but he did not tell us some of the things his fans ought to know. For instance, he did not answer questions such as;
- What is the true meaning of Christmas?
- Was Jesus really born on Christmas Day?
- Why do we still celebrate Christmas and yet Jesus already died?
- Is Jesus still the Christmas baby and where is He now?
- Why don’t we celebrate other birthdays the way we do Christmas?
- Why does Santa show up only on Christmas?
- Why do even atheists and non-Christians remember Christmas and wish their Christian friends a merry one?
- What should we do on Christmas Day?
Well, Santa may never be able to answer these questions, and this is why we did not ask them. All we know about Santa is that he shows up on Christmas with gifts. But there is a place you can get answers to all these questions and more-the Bible!
If you really want to know about Jesus, read the Bible.
As for me, celebrating his birthday is not as important as celebrating the reason he came. He came to give us a free gift, the gift of salvation. This is why I did not make any special meal today, but will still go out the mall to pick a free cake even as I wait for more freebies that are on the way. No, I did not buy a Christmas tree and lights that I will be forced to move to the bedroom or some safe somewhere in the house after the holiday.
I instead chose to buy an indoor plant that will help supply us with fresh air everyday, and one that can remind me of God’s presence, power and splendor every time I look at it. Yes, when I see its green twigs, I will desire to be like it in His presence-it will inspire me to live according to Psalm I: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers (verse 1-3).”
I am not saying that I won’t celebrate the Day – am only saying that I won’t use up my money on unnecessary expenses buying things that are passing. In fact, one of my resolutions was to start spending at the end of the month, even though salary came early! Why? My salary has to last a month, not a day. And the most expensive possession I could ever own I got it for free from the Christmas Baby – salvation through His blood!
For the business owners, Christmas is the best season and this is why they call it peak season. Holidaymakers travel the world to mark the Day. Others drink unconscious trying to catch up with the mood of the season. Others spend all their money in just a day, only to spend the rest of January depressed.
Well, I am not that good with budgeting but I choose to reflect on the reason Jesus came and share with others the gift He gave me. Yes, I will not spend this season but will continue collecting the free gifts wherever they are. My arms are also open to give to the favoured ones.