Make someone merry during this Christmas

BY ALEX TAREMWA

I went by Allan Galpin Health Centre the    other day. The doctor I  was assigned to noticed  me from a distance and called out, “Standard, you’re here too!” From our conversation, I noticed that the good doctor – with whom I share a confidentiality  clause – was unhappy.

He   is part of the ‘essential personnel’ who  will  not be breaking off for Christmas this year, unlike the rest of the staff.

And  it is not just Christmas – staff in the security, health and catering departments do not break off for Easter holidays either. Although this is a policy issue that human resources explained, it is evident that most of the affected staff find it understandably unfair.

Christmas is celebrated worldwide in     symbolism of  the birth   of  Jesus Christ, the Son of God. His life is God’s manifestation  of      selflessness,       love, and care. On this day families get together, pray, play, drink and make merry.

How, therefore, do we ensure that this day  carries    the same    significance to other  people    as it  does    for us – even those  to whom it had no meaning    before?

And this is not  just about the departments I have mentioned. There are    a lot of people who live dangerously every day, year   after year.

Folks   have   no families to go back to, no good meal to furnish their enzymes, no warm bed to lie in, and no parent to take them shopping.

Despite urban areas being largely deserted in the festive season, beggars and malnourished street children still dot the roadsides.

One of the street children in  my   home  town Mbarara stopped me last Christmas as   I  walked down the street with a crate of soda. He     told me  he was hungry and considering how deserted towns   were  during   the   festive season, it wasn’t a good day at ‘work’ for him. The last  time he had celebrated Christmas was  six years earlier, after which both his parents     had  passed away. Wycliffe, now 12 years, knew no home but Mbaguta Street where he had lived ever since.

He narrated that his relatives, some of whom he saw        hopping    around town ignored him when they saw him, when approached, they publicly denied    knowing           him   or   having  seen him before.

Wycliffe  had been left out  so  many  times already and I was not going to be the next person to do the same to him. I convinced him to come home and together with my family, we shared a meal.

He continued to  live   with us until he was reconciled with his relatives.

It took humility, love   and compassion to help a total  stranger realise that there was  more to life than the   way he lived. And I pray that this Christmas, you can go out of your way to make someone else’s day memorable.

Asked what the most important commandment   was: Jesus singled out love. He preached love for God above all, and for others just as oneself.

Jesus Christ would surely appreciate if this day were devoted not only to our respective families but also to those that do not have the chance or reason   to  celebrate.   

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