This will be my first festive season abroad and I am truly anxious to have a taste and feeling of it here in Kenya as an alien. I have got so much used to Christmas in Uganda that it started to feel so dull. For weeks now, I have been planning how I’ll spend the festive season in my new home country and it seems like I have already got some fantastic ideas. Kenya is an exciting country so am guaranteed to have a fabulous festive season like never before! Here are my plans…
Crazy shopping for discounted deals
Around the world, shopping for discounted deals is the main activity during the festive season. Kenya’s economic superiority offers the best African shopping experience with major retailers competing to win over undecided customers. I have already listed down my Xmas shopping guide and I can’t wait to pick a shopping trolley. Since I love handicrafts, I’ll to go for them in the annual Nairobi Christmas Craft Fair or the Maasai market (famous for the coastal kikoy fabric wraps, woodcarvings, soapstones from Kisii and Maasai shuka blankets). For other stuff, I am preparing to invade The Junction Mall, Westgate Shopping Mall, Sarit Center, The Village Market (claims to be East Africa’s largest Shopping, Recreation and Entertainment destination with over 150 outlets), Yaya Center, Garden City Mall, Galleria Shopping Mall and Nairobi Gallery. Supermarkets like Game Stores, Nakumatt, Tuskys, and Naivas will also be invaded for discounted stuff on a variety of items!
Presenting gifts to family, friends and donating to charity
The festive season is all about shopping for yourself and for others. It’s that special time of the year to show gratitude to those who’ve stood by your side and cheered you along the way. Am gonna have a crazy time sorting out Christmas gifts to give to friends, family and to charity. It’s been a tough year in Kenya and I’ll reward all my Kenyan friends who have seen me through. I will also send Xmas presents to my relatives back in my native Uganda to remind them that I love them and I’ll never forget them. I’m also obliged to give Xmas presents to those outside of my circles b’se it’s my endeavor to make a notable difference in the life of those in dire need. There are folks like me who are homeless, parentless, disabled and have no hope. It is my wish to ignite a spark of encouragement that they’re loved and appreciated. Though am not rich but I’ll definitely make a Christmas donation in form of personal effects and cash to Kenya Children’s Fund.
Attending Christmas Carols
Since childhood, I have always loved listening to Christmas carols as they inspire and excite my Christmas moods. A few days to Xmas me and my family would attend our local church and enjoy the well-dressed choir singing their hearts out. A friend has already suggested where to watch the most entertaining Christmas carols in Nairobi like the Nairobi Lighthouse Church, Nairobi Baptist Church and Nairobi Pentecostal Church on Valley road.
Going to social events
Being a Nairobi socialite is mostly rewarding during the festive season with a myriad of social events taking place in almost every corner. It is this time of the year when all you’ve got to do is spending what you’ve earned throughout the year. I admit, it’s been a very rocky year and I never imagined it to be so but I shouldn’t end it on a sad note! A few sites like AllEvents and KenyaBuzz have given me a clue on which events I should attend. This festive season there are planned festivals about food & wine, fashion & beauty, art & craft, religious events, theater & stage, musical concerts like the Afro-fusion Jazz live concert by AfroSimba, etc and if possible, I’ll attend those close to my home.
Attending Christmas prayers and the feast
I heard that many Kenyans prefer attending midnight Christmas prayers but I will choose to attend the morning service b’se it’s full of life with a variety of Christmas hymns, carols & songs of worship being the main features. My local Anglican church St. Peter’s Parish – Embakasi has arranged to stage nativity plays, poems & dances which all am looking forward to enjoying. After the prayers, I’ll head for the Xmas party prepared by my loyal Kenyan friend Timothy at his home in Mukuru. The most common Xmas food in Kenya includes goat, beef or chicken barbecue which is supplemented by rice, potatoes, and chapattis. Later, the main Xmas meal Nyama Choma is served with plenty of local drinks like beer and other soft drinks.
Heading to the Coast for a five-day holiday
Kenya’s coastline offers every holidaymaker the perfect getaway after Christmas and before the New Year’s Day. I’ll dedicate five days while at the Coast adventuring new things unbeknownst to me. During this time of the year, the coast is basked in a relaxing warm climate and full of fun activities. On the first day, I’ll wind off at the Diani beach while sampling out a variety of coastal dishes, then on the second day I’ll explore the nearby Shimba Hills National Reserve for game viewing, archaeological safaris, and nature trekking but am more excited about seeing the Sable antelopes and the African elephants for the first time. I’ll spend the third day adventuring Mombasa island but I’ll concentrate on the historic old town while strolling along the alleys, taking photographs, and shopping for some antiques, fragrant oils, Arabic/Indian spices, and other souvenirs. Later, I’ll tour the 16th century Fort Jesus. I’ll spend the remaining two days while having unlimited fun at Nyali, Shanzu, and Bamburi beaches, all found on the northern coastline of Mombasa.
Watching fireworks display on New Year’s midnight
After the five-day tour of Kenya’s coast, I’ll return to Nairobi to usher in a new year with my friends. There are a number of spots to watch the magnificent fireworks display especially in the central business district and I have been told that most restaurants, bars and concert venues will be very active throughout. Then we’ll spend the 1st of January feasting at Timothy’s upcountry home like nobody’s business.
With all these festive activities, I’ll need to spend a whole week resting before I finally get back to work! I am so much looking forward to enjoying this festive season here in my new home Kenya and am so sure it will be a whole lot of new experience, the happy people, the delicious food, the colorful fireworks display, and the awesome holidays! This is gonna be an unforgettable experience of a lifetime!