Whether kept simple or elaborate, this is a joyful time for many to be with family and friends.

South Africans, like many other nations, have their traditional celebrations, though the good old braai sidelines a multitude of competitive issues such as putting up the “most stunning Christmas tree”,  best table décor not to forget the imported champagne!

In these times, with covid putting a damper on so many activities, not forgetting huge losses of income, it is unkind to side-line less fortunate folk, so to contribute shows compassion which after all is part and parcel of Christ’s mission on earth.

An end has come to much colonization worldwide,  especially by the British, the French, and others, and as the saying goes “old habits die hard” – we shall have a peep at a few leftover traditions in countries that are relevant!

India has a number of faiths, and though not many celebrate the birth of Jesus, one will find that the Catholic faith is the more dominant with some churches decorated with Poinsettia flowers in red and white.

In some regions, midnight mass could be followed by a feast of spicey delights perhaps with yellow rice and raisins, still known of in the West.

In contrast to pine trees grown in cold regions (or good imitations in supermarkets!)  Banana or Mango trees are a good replacement for decorations.

Another tradition is to burn “flat soap” in lamps; the glow of which represents Jesus being the light of the world and much hilarity and excitement when “Christmas Baba” arrives.

Were one to travel across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, one may glimpse a Xmas tree being offloaded from a ship, the locals singing carols as a welcome, (apparently they have a preference for the 12 days of Christmas), and music created from ukuleles and guitars. A grand feast during the celebrations will be offered from roasted Kaua pig!

But now back to Africa with all its diversity, many cultures, culinary delights, and a unique ambiance found only on this continent of which we are proud.

In closing, I would like to thank all the Matsimela supporters and the staff compliment for their commitment and wish all others safety and fulfillment on December the 25th.