A Village Christmas Story: No Gifts But Lots Of Joy

12/23/2016
NPR

Last Christmas, my daughter, Iza, and I woke up to many presents under the Christmas tree. As we enjoyed our breakfast of omelets, sausages, cheese, fresh bread and fruit salad, I thought back to my childhood Christmases. I grew up as the sixth of 10 children in a village in rural Zimbabwe. We didn't have much, but I didn't feel that I was poor. My childhood story is still typical of many rural kids living in developing countries.

I have vivid memories of the festive season in the village, where everyone observed Christmas. By early December, all the kids were counting down the days until the holiday. A few days before the big day, family members who had left the village for the city would start to trickle back into the village, bringing urban goodies (fresh bread, sticky buns, sausages, soda, cookies and condensed milk), wearing fancy clothes — and shoes (we village folks only wore shoes to go to church on Sundays).

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