Day 11: Nkiruka George -Umerah

It’s a day to Christmas and I can feel love in the air… lol… yes the love. That is what Christmas is and has always meant to me.
 
I remember many years ago just before I understood what Christmas meant, I had always seen it as the time of the year that my mum would cook for the whole street: Muslims, Christians, Herbalist (We had on on our street) and distribute in ‘our’ nice plates, served with  drinks and a big piece of chicken depending on the family size ( trust me my mum knew every family on that street) covered with ‘our’ beautiful napkins and placed in a basket.
‘Our’ plates and napkins were used and I wondered why my mother would serve people who don’t even love God with ‘our’ stuff but my mother knew otherwise, no hate, no discrimination, none at all. In fact she would usually ask them if they want option of swallow and our igbo soup and I’m like no way… Hehe hehe
But you see that was Christmas for me, we rarely exchanged gift within the family but we always distribute stuff to people; rich, poor, Muslim,  Christian,  Herbalist. It didn’t matter. I understood at that time she understood the concept of love and the essence of Christmas.
You see (without sounding spiritual… lol). Christmas is all about Christmas and the reason why he came, yes we celebrate his birth at Christmas but that also signifies the price he had come to pay with his life, so as we celebrate his life we also celebrate his death as he came for one purpose, enable us secure eternal life.
For me, Christmas is and will always be about that love, that sacrificial love and the cost of that love. He came because he loved us and died because of that same love. Dying is not easy at all (ask a grieving person, they can relate).
So for the son of God to agree to;
1.Die for us
2. Humble himself and come in form of man
3.Go through the rigorous earthly life before he began his ministry
4. Be persecuted 
5. Be wounded
6. Be abused by the same people he died for
7. Agree to follow the humiliating process

I know without a shadow of doubt that there’s no greater love, none at all.
Christmas is all about love and the birth of this lover…
. implore everyone this season … Love and keep loving.. Give and keep giving … That is Christmas and Christmas is about Christ …
 Merry Christmas and a happy new year .

Thank you Nkiru for sharing your view😆

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Day 10: Oluwatobi Akangbe

Christmas! Christmas!! Christmas!!! Christmas!!!!
I just love pronouncing that word, especially when I whisper it. It just brings this soothing exhilarating feeling. It’s a time of the year that I look forward to for so many reasons some of which I will let you in on as we go on.
Many people have come up with funny attempts to try to take away the shine from the day but for the most part of it, the attempts haven’t been so successful. Some came up saying Jesus  was not born on that day and so it isn’t his birthday and hence should not be celebrated but then I ask; who made them the custodians of the days and until they can convince the entire world of their own opinion at a go, let us just focus for  now on celebrating One who deserves all the worship and recognition in the world. Some have also tried to in a subtle way substitute ‘Christ’ for ‘X’ in the word so we forget the essence of the season, but that attempt also didn’t work well.
This reminds me of when Jesus asked  the disciples who they thought he was and they started saying what men said meanwhile he wanted their own opinion, so to what Christmas  means to me.
Christmas is a time set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and when i consider this knowing that He was born just to die because for me, to imagine that a sinless being was born to only to suffer, to be spat on, be beaten and worn a crown of thorns for my sake, to conceive that a King condescended to the lowliest of statuses to be born in a manger, to be the Son of a carpenter…all just for me?, I get goose bumps just imagining it.
For me,  it is a season that completely defines Love in its purest form which is totally exemplified by giving and its why people should extend the love to others by giving especially to those in dire need and are less privileged and the interesting about this part is that if you are reading this piece, then you are definitely classified among the privileged. There are those who cannot afford  a device like the one you are using to view this, and there are those who are blind and so cannot view this, there are also those who wont be able to read this because theey could not afford to go to school so believe me, you are privileged and so think of someone just less privileged and show love this season.
Just as it is for a lot of people, it is also a time when my considerably large nuclear family comes together and is usually a time to look forward to as I get to see people I have not seen since the last Christmas.
Overall, in the simplest of terms, Christmas to me means the time set aside to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus and is a time for showing  love.
Thanks for reading…

Thanks Tobs for sharing your view.😆

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Day 9: Tosin Amund

What does Christmas mean to me?
Christmas has been the celebration I look forward to every year. When I was little, I remember being excited as school closed for the year just before the holidays. I remember how we looked forward to our school party (it was painful though when our mum didn’t allow us wear party clothes to school like everyone else, but that story is for another day). Mum and Dad would bring home lots of cards, presents (both animate and inanimate) would flood our home. It was a time of year when we used to sing thus:
“Christmas is coming
  The geese are getting fat,
   Please put a kobo in the old man’s hat’
I honestly can’t remember where we learnt that song from but I can bet it was one of our comprehension books. We would pack our bags and travel to our home town in Ogun state on the 24th, and the fun would begin.
My siblings and cousins would terrorize the poor unsuspecting neighbours with all sorts of ‘ammunition’- banger, rocket, all sorts of weapons of mass confusion. I was too scared to hold any of those things, talk less of throw one, so I was stuck with the firecrackers.
I also remember that Christmas was usually the season when our ‘kolos’ (local version of a piggy bank) got filled up with monetary gifts we received from our relatives. There was the running battle on who got the most money. I actually miss those precious little wooden boxes. Unlike grown up accounts, the only way to access your funds was to (irreparably) break it open. Then the child with the most money had it doubled. My older sis always won this challenge; it was a no brainer.
Our church family harvest thanksgiving is on Christmas day every year, so come the 25th, we were all sitting in the pews at Idode Methodist Church, Ago-Iwoye. It was always an interesting time, even if I spent a good part of that time asleep. Afterwards, we would have a feast. That was what Christmas meant for the first few years of my life.
I started to understand the meaning of Christmas when I realised my need for a Saviour. Imagine my joy when my eyes saw the account of the angels heralding Jesus birth:
‘Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord’
And that declaration of joy which followed:
‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men’

From that moment, I realized that Christmas was much more than the festivities, the beautiful dresses, the feasts and family gatherings. Its true meaning surpassed even the biggest hampers exchanged by friends and well wishers. The greatest gift man can ever receive was given at Christmas. The timing of the celebration has been a source of controversy, but I have come to understand that the heart of the matter weighs much more than man’s confusion on dates and time. That divine birth which paved the way for our salvation trumps all the controversies and strange narratives.
Unfortunately, for the last few years of my life, I have consistently been stationed at work on Christmas day. However, this has not dampened my Christmas cheer. The spirit behind this wonderful time of year is always with me, helping me bring Christmas cheer to my patients even while at work.
To everyone reading this, I wish you a wonderful Christmas. May the joy of the Lord be with you this season. Mwah!

Thank you Teesugar for sharing your view.😆

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Day 8: Joseph Oru

Growing up, Christmas was the only event I looked up to every year, not even my birthday, maybe it was the fun and excitement that came with the season, buying knockouts aka “banger”, visiting amusement park, getting to eat a lot, visiting families and friends, maybe it was just my environments, or maybe I’m just thinking about it too much!
I grew up in the barracks and as a kid I was limited to so many things. My dad had rules, and we must obey. I never wrote a list like you did, I never believed in Santa, I just wanted to hear the Christmas songs. My mum or dad bought my rubber wristwatch, eye glasses, clothes and shiny shoes. It was always fun.
Things took a different turn for me December 1999, when a dark cloud was in our midst. For a few years, there were no Christmas feasts, no Christmas presents, no Christmas for me at all. I was in pain. I was left alone. There was really no reason to celebrate.

As I got older, after snubbing Christmas for years, there was a paradigm shift, I began to understand the true meaning of Christmas.
For some it’s all the family dropping by, Decorating the home with holly, evergreens and mistletoe; Candles and sparkly lights,

For others, it’s a great excuse to shop or travel the world!
For some it’s waiting for a Zenith bank to light up the streets with Christmas decorations.
For others it’s roasted turkey/chickens on a plate, enough rice to feed an entire block.
For me it’s personal, it’s a magical moment, it’s celebrating Love, I think that’s the true meaning of Christmas.

So its Christmas 2015. If you do gifts or not. If you get to spend time with family or if you’re all alone… Sing a song, and spend time rejoicing with God for love and for life.

I am just here wondering what does Christmas mean to you? I’d like to know, leave a comment below!

Compliments of the season

Thank you Joey for sharing your view.😆

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Day 7: Niyi Olumoto

I remember when I was a little boy, Christmas  was everything to me back then we would wake up early on Christmas day, have our bath in time all so we could put in our “Christmas clothes”, though we had nowhere to go we would just run around the compound or neighbourhood with other children showing off our Chirstmas clothes, it was a lot of fun, accompanied with lighting of “banga”, bisco and “Ina Oloun” (firecrackers)
And the Christmas food! Oh yes the food, the rice and chicken was always worth the 365 days wait, there was just something different about it.
Fast forward a few years and I am an adult, Christmas means a day I don’t have to go to work (yippee..that’s if I am not on duty at work) but more importantly Christmas reminds me of what I call the starting point of every Christian’s salvation, the birth of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
So it’s a day for merrymaking with family and loved ones and also a day of thanksgiving to Jesus for coming to this world to grant us bail from the prison of sin.
Christmas now isn’t just some childhood celebration in new clothes and shoes with rice and chicken, it’s a day to sit back thank God for Jesus Christ and now merry with the understanding that Jesus was born on that day to fulfil a purpose, He fulfilled it and that’s why we celebrate…
Merry Christmas everyone.

Thank you Niyi for sharing your view.😆

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Day 6: Toluwaleke Odunuga

It is the most celebrated holiday on the calendar. It’s also the best of the bunch.

Christmas is a special time of the year that reminds us of the eternal, unyielding love of God the Father. 

Its significance cannot be understated. Light came into this dark world, Eternity into time, Spirit into body, Creator into creature. Jesus the Son of God was born.

Which is more significant? Christmas or Easter? They are arguably as important as the other but Christmas tells me that if Jesus wasn’t born, Jesus couldn’t die.

It’s not a time to love and give as that should be in our daily lives. It’s really a time to be grateful to God for the greatest gift of all, a time to celebrate this gift with friends and family, a time to be really merry.

This is what Christmas is all about.

Thanks Lakeside for sharing your view.😆

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Day 5: Olamide Akinwumi

December 25 is celebrated all over the world as Christmas day, in honor of the birth of Jesus Christ. Over the centuries, historians have plied us with various interesting theories negating this date as the true birth day of Jesus Christ. Two of these theories posit thus:
the Bible shows us that shepherds were in the fields watching their flocks at the time of Jesus’ birth, and it has been historically proven that shepherds are usually not in the fields in December, and;
Jesus’ parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census and censuses are not taken in winter, when temperatures often drop below freezing and roads were in poor condition. It would have been impossible to take a census in such a period.
Based on the foregoing and more, Christmas has been viciously attacked and described as a ‘pagan celebration that true followers of Jesus should not engage in”. 
So many questions. December 25 is not in fact the day Jesus was born? We are not sure. So why do we keep celebrating it? Hold on. So, when was Jesus REALLY born? It has been suggested by historians that September is a more accurate proposition. Is Christmas a tradition? Yes it is. Is it a pagan tradition? I don’t know.
I am a firm believer in the true value of a thing being found in its use. If you are like me, over the years, your attitude to the yuletide season went from child-like excitement to dispassion, and then to incertitude.
Where I am at now regarding Christmas or any other celebratory season is “Jesus-adoring”. I have learnt, and am learning that God is more interested in my inward motions than my outward expressions. More than the rightness of practices and principles, God wants a relationship with me. With you.
“So whether you eat or drink or WHATEVER YOU DO, do it all for the glory of God.”- 1 Corinthians10:13 (NIV)
I know now that traditions and celebrations can never make up for a heart that is far from God. Whether Christmas is branded a pagan tradition or not, how I approach it can help me gauge whether or not my heart is near or far from God.
When man-made traditions help our hearts to draw near to God, they are a tool functioning rightly. But when our traditions distract our hearts from the true purpose of Christmas-adoring Christ as Lord, and service to humanity, then it is time to re-evaluate and repent.
“If we live, it is to honor the Lord. And if we die, it is to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, WE BELONG TO THE LORD.”-Romans 14:8 NLT.
For me, this Christmas is another opportunity to reflect on and express the love of Jesus, turn my heart in thanksgiving for the mercies of the previous months, consciously rejoice and be glad for the season, reach out to and bless people, and lighten someone’s burden. Christmas reminds me of a Savior who lay naked and cursed on a tree for me, and I am certain that in the measure of my life, no sacrifice can ever come that close. Jesus remains the Greatest Gift, and how could I turn down what is in fact another opportunity to celebrate him with the believing, and also share him with the unbelieving?
Whether glorified or maligned by popular opinion, December 25 of every year is “the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it”- Psalm 118:24.

Thank you Lam Lam for sharing your view.😆

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