It’s been nearly a year since we last had Christmas so it goes without saying that the wait has been quite long. The euphoria that often surrounds the run up to Christmas is one that can best be described with the word ‘madness’. However as time passe, there is not much in the way of the Christmas spirit. The festive season nowadays is just but a ghost of the festive season from back in the days. When I mention ‘back in the days’ I am not referring to the days before colored TV was invented, or the days when kings and chiefs ruled the land as opposed to Mayors and EDs. I am only but referring to the 90s; a time when Christmas was a long awaited explosion! Everyone was involved and it was a very big deal. Parents made sure their children were properly fed with stories about Christmas to create the extra excitement for the season. They surrounded them with gifts, Christmas story telling, plenty of Christmas carols and the house was decorated from top to bottom with all sorts of Christmassy things.
Today, it is safe to say that this spirit is only but a lingering memory. People are no longer interested in propagating an illusion of a Santa Claus who does not really exist or event talking about Jesus Christ who, incidentally, is the reason why this day exists anyway. There is very little interest in the things that made Christmas the favorite time of the year. In an attempt to recreate the Christmas euphoria from the 90s, I have decided to embark on a few things that ought to refresh my memory and probably reignite the childhood excitement I had for the festive season. This year, I shall attempt to recreate the Xmas scene from the 90s.
The Kaunda Suit
Back in the day, my father was a fashion forward guy who wasted no time in dragging his two sons into the thick of things. My little brother Ivan and I had matching clothes more times than I can remember, we often went around shopping for shoes to match our clothes and during the holidays the old man often took us to the salon for the then stylish French cut. In all this, the one remarkable thing about the 90s fashion was the Kaunda suit. A few weeks to Christmas we would find our way to the tailor who would take our measurements and plan for matching Kaunda suits for my brother and I. On a few occasions, it was a trio of matching Kaunda suits with our dad being the lead vocalist of the Kaunda Suit band. While at church, he made it a point to have us moving together and even from a distance, one could see the joy and pride that reflected off of his face. It therefore became automatic that the Kaunda suit was associated with Christmas. Today, the Kaunda suit is probably out of fashion and will get someone into the books of the fashion police but in an attempt to relive the 90s, I shall attempt to don one such suit. Obviously this will require a special tailoring order being made but that has already been sorted out as I have a tailor working on something for me. If the 90s won’t come back to me, I shall go to them!
My hero, Mr. Kenneth Kaunda, the originator of the Kaunda Suit;
Christmas Lights & Decorations
At around this time of the year, people who deal in Christmas lights and decorations are supposed to be making a killing. While some traditionalists will go out and purchase these items, a good number of people will resign themselves to seeing the lights and decorations on the streets, in other people’s home or in the movies on TV as opposed to having them in their own homes. One can understand that this might have a thing or two to do with the fact the UMEME is as merciless as can be and there is more load shedding today than there ever was in Uganda. However, for purposes of having the full Christmas euphoria, I shall take a bullet and endure the abnormal UMEME bill just so I can have some Christmas lights up. At my place of work, the management has done a very wonderful thing by having Christmas lights up and this has somewhat made me think that I too can do it. Of course their ability to pay electricity bills is better than mine but hey, I need me that 90s Christmas feel.
I do not like Christmas carols that much; I tolerate them. However, I can sing along to quite a number; not because I am a budding singer but because my mum did her fair share of shoving the carols down our throats. In the 90s, the weeks leading up to Christmas usually involved a bunch of Boney M songs, a couple of Jim Reeves tunes, some Choir music Carols and a whole lot of Philly Bongoley Lutaaya Music. All this was a buildup to what would eventually turn out to be an entirely musical Christmas day with plenty of Christmassy tunes blaring out of the transistor radio. Since mum was a better singer than almost everyone, she often sang along and occasionally my sisters joined in. When you are around people who are singing along to almost every song, you somewhat get sucked in whether or not you like it. This year, I shall play some Christmas carols to somewhat reawaken the 90s Christmas feeling and even if they remind me how much I actually dislike carols, at least they will remind me how much my mum loves them and what a good singer she is.
The Christmas Tree
In the 90s, the duty of getting a suitable Christmas tree was one that was left to the boys and since I was the older one, that right there was my area of expertise. A good number of homesteads had these Christmas tree fences and there would ideally be no problem finding one. However, not too many homesteads were keen on giving away a Christmas tree just like that; people didn’t want to create ‘holes’ in their otherwise attractive fences. So we often gathered our troops a week to Christmas and raided some homesteads to carry out rebel activity of snooping around and eventually stealing a Christmas tree or two. The excitement was not so much in having the tree in the house but rather decorating it and then eventually burning it on News Years day – a tradition that has since suffered a natural death. People today still get Christmas trees but sadly it is the plastic ones that can’t be burnt on News Years day. Also, people actually buy these trees as opposed to randomly spotting a neighborhood with a healthy Christmas tree fence and plotting to rob one at a very ungodly hour. I know stealing a tree might prove a bit of a task at the moment, what with my age and all, but I will certainly be looking for a real Christmas tree to put up.
I am intent on having these four things (and many others) sorted out before Christmas so that for once in a very long time I can take a trip down memory lane and try to relive the 90s. So if you meet me on Christmas day and I seem like I just fell down from the 90s sky, bear with me, the nostalgia shall have taken over.
Have a wonderful Christmas celebration and don’t forget the reason for Christmas is Jesus Christ – the child born in a manger to redeem the world.
As you celebrate the festivities, chew on this …
Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Talkative Rocker
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