KELVIN MBEWE, Lusaka
THERE is more to Christmas than staying upto midnight and popping fireworks.
According to Christianity, Christmas is celebrated to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the messiah, who is believed to have brought hope for sinners.
He was born of the Virgin Mary and crucified for the sake of Christians. The second coming of Jesus is patiently awaited by many world over.
Christmas, therefore, is all about giving and receiving gifts or sacrificing the little that one has.
The mood during this yearâ€™s Christmas was characterised by the usual excitement amid rains across the country.
Some people went to church, while others preferred to patronise drinking places.
President Lungu, First Lady Esther and Zambia National Service (ZNS) Commandant Nathan Mulenga, among other dignitaries, spent Christmas giving gifts to the underprivileged.
President Lungu personally spent the day visiting children at three health institutions in Lusaka.
He was dressed in a blue suit, and was wearing a big bright smile during his interaction with children.
The President donated an assortment of food hampers to children at Chilenje Level 1 Hospital, Kalingalinga Clinic and Our Ladyâ€™s Hospice in Kalingalinga.
At Our Ladyâ€™s Hospice, the President, who was accompanied by his daughter Tasila, donated food and groceries among them bags of mealie-meal, sugar, cooking oil, drinks and salt, to the children that were attending a Christmas party.
Mr Lungu also promised to buy a vehicle for the hospice amid applause and ululation from members of staff and the children, who also presented a poem in honour of him.
He later proceeded to Kalingalinga Clinic, where he donated a gift to a Christmas baby.
Mr Lungu then proceeded to Chilenje Level 1 Hospital, where he donated hampers to four Christmas babies.
The President advised mothers of newly born babies to take care of their children, especially in their first five years to prevent stunted growth, which is a major challenge in the country.
And Emeldah Chuma and Florence Chalwe, whose children were born after 03:00hours, thanked the President for the donation.
While the President was busy giving out gifts as a way of celebrating Christmas, the First Lady was equally donating assorted goods to babies that were born on Christmas Day at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH).
The First Lady was with Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya and together they donated baby hampers which included bathing sets, clothes and push chairs work worth K25, 000 to 15 babies born between midnight and 09:00hrs on Christmas Day.
Speaking during the donation, Mrs Lungu said the gesture was done in remembrance of what Godâ€™s love has done for human- kind through the death of Jesus Christ.
â€œChristmas is a time to behave decently and give, especially to the less-privileged in our communities. Letâ€™s stick to the good morals that Jesus Christ demonstrated to us. The smile on the mothersâ€™ faces warmed my heart,â€ she said.
In Chongwe area, the ZNS Commandant Lieutenant General Mulenga spent Christmas with disadvantaged children at Fountain Gate Childrenâ€™s Home, where he donated goods worth K125, 000.
The donation includes a flat screen television, home theatre system, Dstv decoder, 120 blankets, bedsheets, mealie-meal, sugar, soups among other essential goods.
Gen Mulenga said the donation was expected to revive hope in the underprivileged children.
â€œThis is the day that Jesus was born to give hope to the world. It is for this reason that we decided to donate to the underprivileged to give them hope for the future,â€ he said.
Gen Mulenga said greed and diminishing family values have led to children being kept in orphanages.
â€œYou will agree with me that some of the children that are being taken care of by this home here have not come from without but are coming from homes where those that are supposed to take care of them have opted to look the elsewhere,â€ he said.
And in response, Fountain Gate Childrenâ€™s Home manager Dora Mwenya thanked ZNS and said the donation will go a long way in promoting the well-being of children at the school.
â€œNothing as big as this has ever taken place here before. I donâ€™t have the words but only to thank God Almighty for directing you to us,â€ she said.
Ms. Mwenya assured ZNS that the donation would be put to good use.
The Bible says â€œblessed is the hand that gives than the one that receives.â€ Reflect on which part of this sentence you belong.