Joy Abayie Okyere
Hello, hello Santa!
I know very well life is bubbling in you even though it is snowing where you are and suppose to chill you but not the Santa I know. Ho, ho, ho! Anyway, how are the elves of Northpole, are they giving you help as usual? How is Mrs. Claus doing?
Unlike my other letters to you, this time I want to occupy your mind on how some Ghanaians usually celebrate Christmas in Ghana. Mind you, Christmas in Ghana is not just 25th day of December, it can take some people eight days to celebrate Christmas in my country.
It will interest you to know that Christmas begins on 24th night and ends on 31st December.
However, because you are busy packing your gifts, I will just talk about three out of the eight days.
Everybody's Santa, in Ghana, 24th December is not a holiday, yet some offices don't operate, others do half day. Many people shop, they call it last day Christmas shopping.
Many people travel to near and far places expecting to spend Christmas with their families, friends and loved ones.
Last year my parents took my brother and I out to observe from a distance night events in Accra on December 24th. The city was lit up with decorations of all sorts. There were lots of social gatherings with music and dance. My parents told me the scenes were not just happening in Accra but in other parts of the country as well.
Mum told me those celebrating on the eve of Christmas, believe they must do so to welcome Jesus Christ on 25th December.
On this same night, some Christian churches and corporate organizations hold carol services. They read scriptures that narrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
On 25th December, some Christian families spend their morning at church where you find, a display of Christmas dresses, shoes necklaces, watches and many other Christmas fashion items.
Some of the fashion items are quite hilarious. Funniest of them all to me are the cartoonlike kind of spectacles we the children wear.
Almost every child puts on their best outfits. We do so for many reasons. Could be because we wrote our end of term exams and passed or we got sick during the year and recovered.
We may have encountrered problems that couldn't tear us down so we wear our best outfits to appreciate God.
Family members and friends come together, cook, eat, make up over misunderstandings and also plan for the future of the family.
In Ghana, boxing day is more about cooking and sharing with friends. All kinds of meals are cooked and served. Families and friends visit each other's homes to eat and exchange baskets filled with a variety of Christmas food and drinks.
Santa, there’s much to share but I will end here and come back to you next year. My parents say, our family will be spending this year's Christmas with our extended family in the village.
I am pretty sure I will gather a new Christmas experience. I promise to let you in on it come next year.
Until then I will be expecting my Christmas box, please remember to write my name on it and brother's name on another. I don’t want any confusion.
If you reply, please be kind and enclose Mrs. Claus photo. I'm curious to see how she looks like. Merry Christmas in advance!
Joy Abayie Okyere, Paschen International School, Takoradi
First Runner Up of the ACE Children's Christmas Story Writing Competition (2020)
The ACE Children's Christmas Story Writing Competition 2020