For most people in Zimbabwe, Christmas Day begins with a service of the Church. After service in the Church, everyone has a party in their homes and people go from house to house, visiting all their family and friends on the way home!
Sometimes, this can take all the rest of the day! In each house you have something to eat, exchange gifts and enjoy the party.
Many people pull out their larger stereo speakers and put them outside the house and play their favorite music at full volume! Not only Christmas music is reproduced, but also the latest pop melodies and old African favorites.
All wear their best clothes for Christmas, as for some families the only new clothes they get every year is for Christmas. The parties are a good place to show off your new clothes.
Children in Zimbabwe believe that Santa Claus brings them there early on Christmas day, ready to show their friends in church and at parties.
Only the main room of the house is often decorated in Zimbabwe. Some Zimbabweans have a traditional “European” Christmas tree, but decorate the room with plants like Ivy. This is covered around the entire top of the room.
Christmas carols are sung during the morning service on Christmas Day and in the services prior to Christmas. There are also sometimes Christmas carols by Candlelight Services in the city parks.
The Christmas cards used in Zimbabwe sometimes have African images, like wild animals, but most are imported, so they have the traditional “snow scenes” and pictures of the Christmas story.
The special food eaten at Christmas in Zimbabwe is chicken with rice. Chicken is a very expensive meal in Zimbabwe and is a special gift for Christmas. This is often eaten at Christmas parties.
Santa can sometimes reach large stores in a fire truck. The streets in the big cities can also have colorful Christmas lights.