CHILDREN

Understanding the true meaning of Christmas

By Irene Sinoya and Sarah Ooko, World Vision,Kenya

As Christmas approaches, the festive mood is in the air and one can't help but get engrossed in the spirit of the season.

In Nairobi, just as in most cities globally, major buildings are covered with Christmas decorations and lights that are mesmerising to look at. Children especially, look forward to this time of the year, when they get to experience Christmas and celebrate it in different ways.

Aside from being excited about Christmas, children also help us understand the true meaning of Christmas. ©World Vision Photo/Irene Sinoya
In addition to being excited about Christmas, children help us understand the true meaning of Christmas. ©World Vision Photo/Irene Sinoya.

 

Aside from these visual appeals, favourite foods or gifts that many usually associate Christmas with, this day symbolises many things to children. Their perspectives collectively, depict the meaning of Christmas to humanity. Below are a few insights from children living in areas supported by World Vision in Kenya.

According to six-year-old Nelly in Kisumu County, Christmas reminds her of the birth of Jesus Christ. She is able to visualise Him as a baby who grew up and became a child just like her, before finally reaching adulthood and dying for our sins.

Christmas gives Nelly hope that she can also make a difference in the world, just like Jesus did.
Christmas gives Nelly hope that she can also make a difference in the world, just like Jesus did.©World Vision Photo/Irene Sinoya.

 

Knowing that Jesus was once a child, gives her the assurance that she and other children have the potential to do great things in life and change the world.

"When I grow up, I also want to do something that will change the world like Jesus," says Nelly.

During Christmas, most children usually receive gifts which they are encouraged to share with others.©World Vision Photo/Irene Sinoya
During Christmas, most children usually receive gifts which they are encouraged to share with others.©World Vision Photo/Irene Sinoya.
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Seven-year-old Ryan from Nairobi County notes that during Christmas, his parents usually buy for him gifts, which he is required to share with needy friends or neighbours.

"Mommy says that Christmas is a day for sharing the little we have - like toys and snacks - with those that are not privileged to have them such as street children and those from poor homes. When you share, you are happy and will enjoy the day," he says.

Christmas celebrations usually bring together children, parents, family members, friends and other loved ones.
Christmas celebrations usually bring together children, parents, family members, friends and other loved ones. ©World Vision Photo/Irene Sinoya.

 

For seven-year-old Oscar in western Kenya, Christmas is special as he gets to spend time with not only his immediate family members, but also his uncles, aunties and cousins living in different parts of Kenya.

"We usually have a get-together at my granny's home. Most people arrive a day or two before Christmas and we spend so much time talking, playing, laughing and having fun. You just feel surrounded by love and it is amazing," he says.

Children and their families usually thank God for His blessings and love during Christmas.
Children and their families usually thank God for His blessings and love during Christmas. ©World Vision Photo/Irene Sinoya.

 

Ajuma, 11, in Turkana County notes that her highlight for Christmas is usually the church service that her community attends either on the eve of Christmas - in the evening - or on the actual day in the morning.

"I love the part where we sing the Christmas carols with the choir and dance to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is here that we also thank God for his blessings throughout the year and for keeping us alive and healthy," she says.

World Vision strives to ensure that children experience God's love in their lives.
World Vision strives to ensure that children experience God's love in their lives. ©World Vision Photo/Irene Sinoya.

 

As a Christian organisation, World Vision - through its various development initiatives - seeks to improve the well-being of children, thereby enabling them to experience God's love and happiness wherever they may be.

Our Christmas wish for all children is life in all its fullness! We would like all boys and girls to grow to their full potential and fulfil their God given purpose in life.