Christmas is one of the worst days that make me sad because I have to leave my family for work. I, however, try to always narrow the gap, especially with the children. We are always out before and after that day (Christmas). I intentionally do not accept any long distance shows because I want to be with them during daytime. We do shopping together, make a list of what we need for the festive season then decide when to go shopping.”
“It has always been like that for the last 10 years and my family is now used. It definitely feels lonely at some point but work has to go on. I compensate such big days with normal days where I prepare nice meals for my family and spend time with them. I prepare most meals late in the night and return to wind up after work’s first shift which breaks at about 11am or midday so
I have enough time to cook before lunch. After lunch, I rest to prepare for the evening if I have to be back to work. My cousin also helps out. I love keeping around family so in most cases I invite my sister and aunties, including their families to my house so that we can have lunch together.”
I do not recognise Christmas because I am an Advent. Our denomination does not celebrate the birth nor the resurrection of Jesus Christ because such days are not written in the Bible. But as a special day in the world, I am with those that honour it. I will be busy making my fans happy, enjoying the day with different performances. The home preparations will remain the same.
Teddy Nakiyini, manager
My preparations start a day before with shopping which I do after work at about 8pm. On Christmas Day, I wake up very early, set everything then prepare myself for the morning service that starts at 6.30am to 8am.
I then drive back home, do some cooking before I leave for work. I make sure that I reach work at about 10am. We deal in new motorcycles and usually, people clear and take them on Christmas Day. Sales are not many though. At 2pm, I go back home to have lunch with my family.
Claire Mbabazi, business woman
Christmas is like any other day though the sales are not as high. I wake up early as I have to attend the first Mass that starts at 6.40am after which I head to my work place. I open from 8.30am to 3pm. I never worry about lunch because restaurants are always open. Since my son is always with his grandparents, it gives me ample time to concentrate on my work. I do not visit any hang-outs because most of them are congested.
Irene Mukuye, hair stylist
I normally have pending bookings overnight. This means I have to wake up early to attend to clients. I have failed to find time for my family, not even preparing a nice meal for them. I sometimes fail to have lunch because I am busy. This has been the routine over the years and I think I am now used as well as my family. I, however, make sure that I have a well decorated Christmas tree in the salon which brings a feel of Christmas.
Sarah Zawedde, artiste
I have been a performing artiste for almost 10 years and I can hardly recall the year I celebrated Christmas or any other big days with family. I am always out working, and those are my days to shine. The few big days I have been with family is the beginning of the year which is less busy.
I am always psychologically prepared for the season. Given my career, I have made it a point to use every opportunity I get to be with my family. Family time is every day, and they know it, so none of us is affected because they know that it is on such big days that I make some good money. I know my family is happy when I am happy.
Robina Mbabazi Mulera, radio presenter.
At first, I used to feel guilty for fear of upsetting my family, it is until I explained to them why I worked on Christmas. Now that I am used, its feels normal because there is a listener out there who is going through a rough time and needs to hear a voice to give him or her hope. Mornings are for a listener and afternoons are family, that is how I balance.
Since we do not prepare lunch at home, there is no need to do prior shopping, I only make contribution and we book a catering service to provide lunch. It is a fun packed day for both the old and the young ones. We realised that most hang outs are crowded that’s why we opted to bring the fun at home.
Ann Ssebunya, radio personality
We normally try to work out a schedule with co-presenter Patriko Mujjuka, I pre-record for the Christmas show. It is a bit tough because no matter how exhausted I may be, I have to wake up early to be in studio on Boxing Day though I later join my family after work. This gives me time to enjoy the day with them. But the season is not fully enjoyed as I always have to be at work the following day by 5am.