My Christmas and Your Christmas

Let’s play a game! (You are supposed to cheer and agree. No groaning, please!) Many people have asked about what it is like to celebrate Christmas in Ghana.  I think that it would be very easy to contrast it with an American Christmas.  I like having conversations and don’t get the opportunity to dialog with many people so I thought we could turn this into a game and create our own conversation. Are you with me? Great! Here’s how it goes: I will make a statement about my Christmas here in Ghana and you leave a comment on the same topic about your Christmas here in America. I’ll hop down into the comments section and we’ll just keep on adding to it.

For my Christmas, the grocery stores do not restock the shelves and the choices become fewer and fewer leading up to the holiday.

(Now you respond telling me something about your grocery store at Christmas time. GO!)

Update: I’m having fun with our short conversations in the comments. I thought I should add a little more detail here. Many people travel back to their home villages for Christmas and the shops are closed. I think this is why they don’t replenish their stock.

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27 thoughts on “My Christmas and Your Christmas

  1. For my Christmas here in Akron I have noticed that not only are the shelves almost always filled with standard items, but somehow they have found ways to stock several items that are popular only in the Christmas season.

    1. Aha, so they are tricking you! Either they really don’t have the other items well stocked or they have put up displays in other places.

  2. For my Christmas, the grocery stores only keep certain things stocked, and the choices get fewer and fewer as the holiday approaches, even though the shelves are overflowing with the few items the stores consider ‘traditional’.

    1. Ooooh! That sounds wonderful. We actually had a fresh turkey for thanksgiving. I’m betting my turkey is much fresher than the ones at your grocery stores. Our friends killed it in the morning and brought it to me a few hours later.

      1. It was naked and empty. Ready to cook. Just the way I like it. The meat was juicy and flavorful but very tough. I guess they gave their turkey a little too much “free range.”

  3. For our Christmas the stores get ridiculously full with new displays and new items and more baking supplies than you know what to do with. There’s usually a whole new section dedicated to just Christmas stuff.

  4. At my grocery there are extra displays in the aisles that you have to steer your cart very carefully past or you will take out a stack of archway holiday cookies or little Debbie Christmas tree cakes or a few bottles of ChocoVine. It is especially sketchy for people using those car or truck shaped carts for little kids. Those things are hard to steer.

    1. I love Peeps! On principle alone I will not purchase them unless they are Easter themed. I am not above purchasing them at Easter and having them remain in my cupboard until Christmas, though.

      1. They are often better stale and crunchy! Tim used to slit the package and then leave them for months before eating them. When we were in grade school the girl across the street and I would have contests (with fresh ones) to see who could take the most bites out of a single peep. You can do hundreds if you make them small enough!

  5. All I can think of is the word “abundance”. We have so much here that I often take for granted. I do know what you mean about a fresh bird though. My friends grandma in N. Carolina killed the chicken that morning and we were looking at it on a plate that night.

    1. It’s easy to take things for granted when they are always available. This post wasn’t meant to make any one feel badly for having better stocked grocery stores, just a way of comparing/contrasting. Enjoy those fun holiday treats that are only around this time of year! As I said before, our stores become barer and barer because stores are often closed during Christmas so it makes more sense to reduce your stock than to store extra items when you won’t even be open.

    1. I agree! That is why I’m trying to do more posts about my Christmas in hopes to generate some conversation. Really, it’s just a way to make people talk to me.

  6. We have two stores to pick from here in town – Safeway and Wal-Mart. Safeway is never a fun place for me as our workers (and their computer system) have literally messed up every time I’ve shopped there… so I’m always back to the customer service desk the next day. So we’ll go to my “favorite” store.

    Our Wal-Mart is great in that we’re in a relatively small town. So anything that people in the bigger towns are running out of – we usually still have in stock. For some reason, we’re really not planning much in the way special foods this year. Geof found a ham on sale last week, so we have that for Christmas. I’ll make his grandma’s mac and cheese, and I’ll hopefully make the anytime spice cookies sometime in the next week and a half. That’s about as fancy as we’re getting =) Are you doing any special cooking or baking for Christmas? Anything that you’ve started making since moving to Tamale that you never made back in the States?

    1. Ooooh, ham! Through the amazing thinking of Sarah Esala, we have “ordered” a ham for Christmas this year. We have a new meat store on our side of town. I think the explanation of that will be a post all by itself. I’ll be working on my Christmas foods post as well. I think a simple Christmas dinner is how it should be!

  7. I stood next to a young mother at Target today (Dec. 18). She was buying 10 little drinks for her baby which are packaged in a kind of toothpaste tube, except larger, with a sucking thing at the end.(I wish I had the brand name.) But these little drinks had organic contents, including Omega 3’s, fibre, and other (I’m sure wonderful and healthy) substances. I thought, “Good conscientious mother, and lucky baby!” and enjoyed wishing her a Merry Christmas. Not all new things are good for you, but this product looked very convenient and nutritional. (Each little tube cost $1.19.) How are you, Ali! I owe you a note.

  8. The supermarkets are now filled with toys, cards and they even have patio sets and that is the place where people go to rent videos. I guess they are more profitable than the regular food.

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