The lost spirit of Christmas

by Kimberly Flanagan

Coming to the end of the year, I’ve noticed something. Something that has been missing.

There are hardly any Christmas decorations in the mall stores, I don’t hear any people talking about going away on holiday in December and there are no Christmas carols playing in the background of the homes I come across.

It made me ask myself, have we as a society in South Africa lost the spirit of Christmas?

Our country is reeling from many sad experiences and tragedies from this year. Death, despair, poverty, and injustices plague us constantly but I feel like we still have a lot to be grateful for and a lot to be happy about.

We all know the result of the Springboks winning the Rugby World Cup. It brought people together and made us realize that together, we are really stronger. That is simply just one example, a great example at that. So now, as we approach Christmas, we can continue that positive spirit going forward. Christmas is a time to be celebrated.

I remember as a child, I used to love seeing Christmas decorations and hearing whispers of the elusive Father Christmas. I used to get excited knowing I was going to receive gifts and I loved the smell of the food my mother would prepare. Christmas was a happy time for me.

As I grew up, I still loved it but I’ve noticed a lot of people see Christmas as just another public holiday. No one seems to be excited anymore.  This is not the Christmas season I remember as a child.

In all honesty, it makes me sad.

I have two young children and I love to hype them up about Christmas. Yes, we are the type of people to put up our Christmas tree in November. My kids love decorating the tree and seeing the bright lights lit up. It makes them happy and excited. It brings them joy and I believe that is exactly what the spirit of Christmas is all about.


I understand as a country especially, we’ve been through a lot this year. I don’t need to tell you all about it but we’re still here. We still have hope and love and joy and anticipation for something more and I feel like Christmas and the expectation of the festive season should be a reminder to all of us that we have something to look forward to.

Christmas and the festive season is not all about the sales from selling Christmas stock. It’s about making memories and celebrating being together.

It’s about eating way too many sweet treats and over-decorating your house. It’s about taking pictures with Father Christmas in the mall and dressing up in red, green or gold. It’s about forgetting about your worries and taking in the love you feel around you.


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