My mum told me about how Christmas was like growing up, and I want to share with the community. My mum's name is Kate Ameka, and she grew up in Mpraeso in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Her family wasn't rich, but they weren't necessarily poor. At least, they never went to bed hungry. Life in Mpraeso was much simpler as compared to Life in Accra now. I thought the stories were interesting, so wanted you all to hear.
Christmas for them started on the 24th of December. Children in the community will go and cut palm fronds to construct a "apata" or booth for celebrations. Every kid participated even though it was nothing official. Parents also allowed their kids to take part and some parents even joined. Whoever doesn't go with the team leaders to cut the palm fronds will have to pay a penalty of 1 finger of plantain. If you don't pay, you aren't allowed to enter the booth where the celebrations will take place.
After the booth is built, they go around to look for used tin cans to use them as drums. You can't have a celebration without music, right? They pick cans of all shape and sizes but you had to show it to the leaders to approve before you can take it into the structure. The were 3 brothers who mainly the leaders every Christmas. Their mother was present but absent in their lives, if you get what I mean. They fend for themselves and once a while, she provides something.
After going around for the tin cans, they put all in the booth and wait until dusk. You also have to bath before you enter, especially the boys as they didn't like bathing. There's karaoke and singing and dancing in the booth from dusk to late at night. The kids start it off and later in the evening, parents who are available come and join. You don't need money to have fun or enjoy Christmas. Whenever you are tired, you go home to sleep. You don't need to wear anything special or bring anything, just come and have fun. And that's how mum mum spent her 24th Decembers as a kid in Mpraeso.