“How did I even get here? …running around thinking of the right gift to buy for colleagues at work, accepting invitations for Christmas parties most of which I will not attend and getting the house ready for families and in-laws that make you blood boil-over…” moaned a colleague of mine who I have nicknamed ‘Mama Africa’. She is one of those rear beings you come across in your lifetime who, in their subtle way, make an impact in your life just by being themselves and totally oblivious to their effect on people. Whenever I see her, all I can think of is Home…and going to her house made matters worse (I think)… it was as if I was being transported from the UK to a very warm and cozy flat in Zimbabwe right from her doorstep. In spite of her moaning, Mama Africa still invited myself and some colleagues at work for Christmas lunch at her house. As we settled down to devour are chosen rations, Mama Africa kept us entertained by recounting her childhood memories of Christmas as a little girl growing up in Zimbabwe. She said Christmas to her then meant wearing her new gown that was bought by her mother at the local market one month before Christmas. For her, the most interesting part of Christmas day was showing off her newly acquired piece of outfit to the neighbours and friends alike. In the afternoon, her mother would make chicken stew (it had to be chicken) because eating chicken on Christmas day brought a form of ‘ social status’ with it. This was how Christmas day was celebrated in her household and in order to draw their neighbour’s attention to this social status, they would wave the bone or their half-eaten chicken drumsticks in the air or outside their compound for all to see. Today, she thinks Christmas should be celebrated everyday and not once in a calendar year. She thinks there is too many pomp and pageantry in the festive season that takes people’s minds of what the true essence of Christmas is. This resonated with me at a deeper level than I thought at the time and it kept me reflecting on what Christmas means to me as an adult and a Christian. I have on countless occasion tried to make sense of what Christmas means to me as a person rather than how I should celebrate it. Sometimes, days or weeks before Christmas, I find myself not in the mood for celebration but defining what it means to me as a person is what often lifts up my spirit. It is amazing to witness how generous individuals can be during this period and the giving of gifts to friends and loved ones does contribute to making this time of the year very special indeed.