Days of Christmas, Guest Posts

What Christmas Is to Me

advent9When December comes along, I’m always at school—I’ve been a boarder since I started secondary school, back in 2007. But that’s another story, and I want to enlighten you all on my favourite memories of this season.

The first thing you must know is that I technically don’t celebrate Christmas, because my religion Islam, doesn’t recognize this holiday. I don’t know how to explain this, I’ve been raised in a household with unconventional religious beliefs. Growing up, I didn’t know much about religion, I just understood that there were muslims and christians. I went to mosques and churches, I have tons of family and family friends of both religion, so it was normal for them to let me explore my religious curiosity.

December, Christmas Period, has always been a festive period in my household. My mum would set up the Christmas tree, put up ornaments, fairy lights, which played Christmas tunes, handout christmas treats, especially the candy cane and sparklers and the Pre-Christmas parties came, they are held by my different aunties and uncles (including non-blood related), where I could gleefully play with my cousins and friends.

On Christmas day itself, we would spend the day out, visiting different venues, where Christmas parties for the community were being held and I got to see different Santa’s and got a lot of gift bags filled with different notebooks, pencils, toys, sweets, cookies, colouring books, storybooks etc. at night we would crowd the balcony and watch the different fireworks go off in the sky and that was it for Christmas, there was no special meal, no sharing of gifts or prayer of thanks in my home, even if the house was decorated for Christmas.

In Senior Secondary School, my level of exciting for the Christmas period increased. For the school had made it a tradition to have not only have a Christmas concert courtesy of its students, but a night for walking round the estate our school is located in, in the night with lit candles (being a teenager, it was fun for us, for we got to be out late from our dorms and also allowed to mingle with boys out late, even if we were being supervised) afterwards, we gathered on the school field, for prayer and giving thanks, before finally eating small treats and mingling in general before returning to our dorms, it was quite beautiful. The best part is the night before we go home, the Christmas/End of Year Dinner, it’s the most formal event we have in the whole year, something like prom. We got to dress up in beautiful gowns, shoes and be beautiful. After the dinner and all the shenanigans that go on to entertain the dinner attendants, came the firework display followed by dancing till midnight.

I still feel the festive vibe of Christmas, I feel it in my heart and it just makes me cheerful. Even though we stopped putting up Christmas decorations long ago, I also don’t like going for Pre-Christmas parties anymore and I’m way too old to go to events to see Santa lol. Ever since I started University, whenever it’s December, I can’t focus on school work and my thoughts are always about going home and partaking in the Pre-Christmas vibes. I prefer being indoors on Christmas Days now, it’s quite peaceful, well to an extent, the apartment is usually empty, for the little kids would be out all day. I don’t even have to worry about a thing, our neighbours send food and drinks over, so there are different arrays of food to pick from. I save all my energy for the last hours of the 31st and celebrate till early morning with fireworks war with different people.

My name is Omolara “Lara” Kareem. I’m a from Nigeria, born and raised there. I’m a goofy person in general and like to think myself as silly. I love animals, especially my crazy muffin of a dog “Benz”  I discovered that I had a passion for books, at the age of 10, when I was crutches bound with no other means of entertainment, but my school library. Ever since then I haven’t stopped reading. A year later, I started writing my own tales, I’ve always loved a good story, and found myself daydream about the different worlds I created in my mind, all my life.

I love writing, it’s the the best way to express myself, I’m more comfortable with writing words, when I need to explain myself than speaking, it gives me a freedom, spoken speech doesn’t. My friends use to tell me to write for them, for they loved reading my stories and one of them suggested I get my own blog and here I am today.

If I’m not reading, writing or blogging. I’m either listening to music, roaming the net, socializing or playing games via on my phone, snapchatting my dog or busy at school.

You can find me tweeting away @LaraTKareem or blogging at 🦋


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