5 Holiday Traditions for our Family in Kenya
Holidays are a time to create memories as a family, no matter what the tradition.
Our family is a multicultural home with different holidays and festivities merged into one. I hail from the US, my husband, Jesse, is Kenyan – and our girls are proudly both. Now that we’ve got children of our own, we’ve found a way to respect and celebrate traditions from both of our cultures, and we’ve created a few new traditions of our own!
- New Year’s Day
Over the years, we’ve started our own family tradition of ringing in the New Year on a safari or camping trip. We love traveling for New Year’s, surrounded by friends and family, and enjoying all Kenya has to offer. The kids always love going on a trip, especially when we travel with other families. We keep it flexible, too, sometimes staying home to enjoy mbuzi choma with our extended family in shagz!
I love our family’s Easter holiday tradition: Easter at the beach! We love going to the south coast for Easter weekend. We add a little of my traditional American Easter culture by dying hard-boiled eggs bright colors, doing an Easter egg hunt on the beach, and giving the kids a bit of chocolate and a few small gifts in a makeshift Easter basket. It’s not traditional by any means, but it’s totally our own!
We ordered a turkey to celebrate our first Thanksgiving in Kenya with a group of friends, but once I saw how expensive it was, we quickly abandoned that particular American tradition! Now, our family usually celebrates Thanksgiving with a small group of families over a feast of whatever is locally available – seafood at the coast, or a nyama choma barbecue if we’re at home. No matter where we celebrate, I always bake an apple pie! It’s all about comfort food and being around people we love!
We love to celebrate Christmas at home with our kids. Every year we put up a Christmas tree and the girls help us to cover it in decorations. We’ve got tons of ornaments for our tree – many of them from Kenya, featuring banana leaves, baobab trees, Kitengela glass baubles, Santa riding a camel, and an assortment of handmade zebras, lions, and giraffes. The girls love writing letters to Santa, wondering how he delivers gifts to all the children around the world. On Christmas morning, the girls wake us up early to open the gifts!
- Boxing Day
Ever since we settled down in Kenya as a family, we’ve always loved spending Boxing Day in Nairobi National Park for a game drive and a picnic! We invite friends and family to join us, and spend the whole day in the park checking out the animals, and cooking up a huge picnic feast on our meko at the Kingfisher Campsite. We can’t think of a better way to spend Boxing Day!
I love what we’ve created as our family traditions for the holidays, and I can’t wait to see my children pass them on (or create their own) one day!
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