I love Christmas, decorating the tree, wrappi.jpgng presents, eating lots of fruit cake and drinking homemade “ginger beer”.
Every year, since I moved to Johannesburg, I would drive up to my parents and spend Christmas on the farm. My dad would cut down a tree from the plantation just because I’m coming. My mom’s fruit cake would have had a few weeks to soak up the whisky and the ginger beer’s sultanas would be floating at the top, tightly blown and ready to steal when nobody is watching.
My mother always makes little presents for the children on the farm. Little sweets and small toys – just enough to make their eyes twinkle. Then, just after the 16th of December, my parents would drive down from their house up in the mountains to the houses by the road and call the children to get their little presents.
I could never sleep the night before Christmas and everybody knew why… I needed to open my presents and always tried to get it earlier. On Christmas day we would have a big South African potjie lunch with vegetables, chicken and rice that my dad makes on an open fire. My mom would make a “roly poly” with apricot jam, a recipe that my grandmother handed down.
The best thing about Christmas in Africa, the sun is always shining and by noon the heat sometimes gets unbearable enough so that you could go swim in a river and eat cooled watermelon as a snack before the next round of ginger beer and fruit cake.
Spare a thought…
This year has seen many a Zimbabwean crossing over into South Africa due to economic conditions back home. Some of these people arrive over the border with little more than what they are wearing. If they are lucky they will find a job and be able to send money to family in Zimbabwe.
Spare a thought in 2009 for Zimbabweans in dire need, far from home and families.