This time last year we spent Christmas in my homelands. The sun had already set in Zanzibar and it was from these gleaming sands that my friend and I spent a few moments of the evening watching some kids playing football on the beach. Masai and Swahili friends dashed across the sands with no trouble at all.
We forgot that it was Christmas eve. Life carried on as normal there and it was beautiful. Then, we spotted a Masai watchman from the guesthouse next door in a Christmas hat. I think we all did a classic cartoon double-take. What a sight and the very best Christmas present ever!
For my part, spending Christmas in Zanzibar allowed me to feel unfettered by the extravagance of a western Christmas. I felt free and my heart felt light and happy. Maybe it's because Christmas was a sedate affair in childhood that I feel that Christmas in the UK though beautiful and heartwarming as it can be causes a conflict within me. The excessive buying the crazy amount of wasted food. The excesses involved with commercial Christmas makes me uncomfortable in many ways.
I don't like being sad at this time of year so I put my energy into appreciating what we have and that we can afford nice food and a warm home. I feel joyful when I spend Christmas with Hiro and my brother-in-law because I remember our first Christmas together when we had hardly any money. I remember putting our pennies together and buying a little bit of food to enjoy on the day. We ended up with 2 fish, some rice and a few vegetables. We found an unused disposable BBQ in our kitchen left over from the summer and so we decided to have a BBQ outside in the freezing 2 degrees below freezing weather in London. It was so dark so we lit some candles and huddled together to share our meal. From that day, every christmas that we are all together we order fish and have a little BBQ on Christmas night. We remember how little we had back then and we feel thankful that we can afford a bit more and that we still have each other to keep warm with all these years later. I really appreciate that.
Merry Christmas to everyone! We wish you a soulful Christmas full of love & light x