Celebrating Xmass amid raging Omicron

Christmas period is upon us, it is one of most exciting time of the year especially for children. Due to the celebratory nature, children look forward to the holidays with anticipation because that is the time, they hope to receive presents, eat yummy food and get to spend time with relatives and friends. Christmas Day which falls on Saturday this year, signifies God’s love for humankind through the birth of His son Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Other than being festive, it is also a time for spiritual reflection about God’s perfect sacrifice, the fulfilment of His salvation plan for humankind and the forgiveness of sin. This year marks the second holiday season that the entire world is celebrating in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic with Omicron being the latest variant. Since the outbreak, Zambia is facing the fourth wave with 216,508 cases, 207,223 recoveries and 3,679 deaths as at December 19, 2021. Due to the rising cases of infections, Government introduced health and safety guidelines with the hope that most festivities will be low key. Families have again been encouraged to mask up, maintain social distances, stay at home and avoiding gatherings as some preventative measures against the virus.
Strict adherence to health guidelines is critical for the safety of children especially those who are yet not eligible for vaccination. It is the duty of adults to ensure that children are protected from the contracting the virus by behaving responsibly. Even in with low key festivities, unfortunately, some children from vulnerable homes will still not be enjoy the joys of Christmas because of the prevailing economic environment following the Covid-19 pandemic that the world has been grappling with. The situation has been further exacerbated by the recent fuel hike which will lead to increased prices of basic commodities and services. In times like these, as the world celebrates the birth of baby Jesus, children should be encouraged to share whatever they have with those less privileged especially that a majority of families will be struggling to put food on the table let alone a sumptuous Christmas meal. Children who are taught from an early age, the value of helping and sharing with others, benefit emotionally through increased personal happiness, self-esteem and satisfaction. Encouraging them to give and share with others in need, triggers a surge in self-esteem which promotes confidence and assurance because it is more blessed to give than to receive. Children are also inspired to direct their attention to others and it provides them with an opportunity to experience the value and joy of helping; an act that ultimately transforms them positively. When children are taught that helping others is also a great way to help themselves, positive qualities such as kindness, compassion, gratitude, empathy tend to manifest in their lives. It is important for parents to explain to their children while they are still young the real meaning of the Christmas spirit if they are to make a positive difference in the lives of those they love and live with. Children should be made to understand that Christmas is not only about receiving presents and other goodies but it also calls for sacrifice and showing goodwill especially for those who are less fortunate. Children can be taught to embrace the true Christmas spirit by giving some of their time, love and gifts to those who might require them. When children adopt the spirit of giving, they will grow up with the feeling that helping others will not out of obligation or duty, but will be a life-long habit of showing love for those who are less fortunate. Merry Christmas! COVID-19 is real; stay at home and keep safe! Remember children are our future, until next week, take care and Happy Christmass!

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