You may remember I participated in Christmas Around the World and I shared about Christmas traditions in Kenya. Well after my post was published my friend, Andrea, from Ziezo - Crafting and Living in Kenya and her Esty store, Ziezo, sent me a book one of her friends wrote. Now Andrea was a huge help in my previous post since there is not much available in the United States or on line about Christmas in Kenya. Her friend's book, A Kenyan Christmas by Aunty Kiko however is a wonderful resource, so I want to share it with you even though it is February and not near Christmas.
This is a wonderful story about a Kenyan girl named Akinyi. She cannot wait for Christmas (like all Christian children). It tells how she and her family prepare for Christmas. She is waiting for the short rains to end. She has helped her mother plant the garden with sweet potatoes and sukuma (kale) and is wondering about the plants as she listens to the rain fall on the tin roofs. When the sun finally comes out she notices jacaranda trees are bare and the hornbills have flown away.
Her family goes out shopping for Christmas gifts for family and friends. There are many Christmas fairs to shop at and the schools are closed and decorations fill the shopping centres. She also wonders abut Christmas Mama, Baba and Toto. I would guess they are the Kenyan equivalent to the American Santa Claus and they are pictured on the cover of the book.
In the mean time, her family decorates a tree and then goes swimming and has long cool drinks. Nairobi begins to slow down as people leave to go visit their families in their villages. The buses leaving Nairobi do not have empty seats.
Finally it is Christmas. Every kitchen is full with happiness. The cupboards store juices and goodies. On Christmas morning her family has mandazi and sweet chai (see my original post for a recipe and our experience making mandazi). They sing a few songs and tell stories about Christmas and of course open their zawadi (gifts). Then they wait for their visitors whom they will feed.
Doesn't that sound like a lovely Christmas? Now, A Kenyan Christmas is available for sale, however I have had trouble finding an on-line site that sells it. Creative Parenting is the site to purchase it, but is in the middle of re-organizing. If you are interested in purchasing see the comment below from Aunty Kiko (the author).