Christmas is that time of year when adults are given a chance to relax and spend time with their loved ones. For the children, it’s a time when memories are made. As is the custom a majority of Kenyans travel back to their upcountry homes to visit extended family and escape the rush and fast-paced life of the city. Why do we seem to do the same thing every year? If you think about it all we do at these gatherings is eat and chat, but family gatherings are important for many reasons,
If you are being hosted this Christmas be it by family or friends here are five things to observe.
Another item to add to your adulting list is you are a role model now. Arriving at your host’s place at an ungodly hour doesn’t paint a good picture for your host or the children present. It might give them the impression that you don’t respect their time. When you are punctual, you are saying you value the other person’s time, and you are disciplined, organised, and dependable.
Are you always running late for everything? You may need to learn how to be punctual. Some of the strategies you could employ are:
This could be anything from picking out your clothes to packing everything you need. This reduces the last-minute rush and panic.
Living in the 21st century comes with the advantage of having technology at your fingertips. You could use this technology so you are never late again. You could set reminders on your phone or on apps to help you manage your time effectively.
Factor in unexpected events like traffic, transport delays, or the rains.
A gift for your host is a lovely way of saying thank you for your hospitality. However, that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to get your host a gift. The gift could be anything big or small. You first need to set a budget and determine how much you can realistically afford to spend without straining your finances. You could get them a Kitenge, a hand-made gift, or other items. You could bring a single gift for the host and their family one gift for the adults and another gift for the kids, or individual gifts for each family member. Some places you could check out for the perfect gift are gift shops, curio shops, Maasai market, and stalls. Alternatively, you could also look for a gift online. You could also bring along food or snacks.
Traditions are held all over the world, in families, tribes, and even communities. As someone being hosted this holiday, you must be willing to participate in whatever holiday traditions your host practices. Family traditions are important because they help strengthen family bonds. They provide families with a set time to mingle and build a foundation. Other reasons why family traditions are important are because:
Traditions provide security, whether it's Friday night family movie nights, or having chapati every Tuesday. It is nice to have some consistency in an ever-changing world. Family traditions also teach you about values. Take for example, if you have a family that prays before meals or attends church every Sunday and Wednesday, it shows your children that faith is important. If you read to your children regularly, you are teaching them that there is always time to learn.
Family traditions provide a sense of “This is us. This is what we can do. This is who we are.” It gives you a place where you can belong.
Being thankful is more than just making a list every morning or evening; it also involves expressing your gratitude to others for being in your life. There are numerous ways to express your gratitude to someone. It could be a letter, a gift, going out to eat, or traveling together. Keep in mind, that it's not about what you give or how much it costs, it’s all about your desire to express your gratitude and show appreciation to your host. This could be as simple as saying thank you.
The spirit of giving goes beyond material gifts to the gift of assistance. Lend a helping hand at the sight of struggle. Have you noticed children getting rowdy? Redirect them to another activity. Is your host overwhelmed in the kitchen? Offer to help, be it washing dishes, cutting onions, or assisting in setting up decorations, your actions contribute to creating a welcoming environment.
Being helpful while being hosted not only contributes to the overall festive environment but also strengthens bonds and creates lasting memories. Being helpful also eases the burden on your hosts. Hosting your loved ones is something demanding. By offering to help you lessen some of the burdens on your hosts' shoulders allowing them to enjoy the celebrations along with their guests.
Christmas gatherings are much more than just food and chatter, you will experience moments of shared joy and giving. If you are being hosted this holiday season, there are things you have to embody like being punctual, showing gratitude, being willing to help, participating in family traditions, and being thoughtful. By observing these five things, you not only enrich your Christmas experiences but also contribute to the warmth and the joy that defines Christmas gatherings. But ultimately, the magic of the holidays lies in the collective effort to create moments of connection, gratitude, and shared celebration.