Thanksgiving, food and family time. That was the order of the day for thousands of Samoans and visitors to these shores on Friday when the country stopped to mark the birthday of Jesus Christ.
Throughout the country, people flocked to midnight services on Thursday night, counting down to the big occasion. Some denominations chose to have their services on Friday morning. Regardless of when it was held, the common theme was the celebration of God’s gift to the world, his son Jesus Christ.
For members of the E.F.K.S church, the “The Greatest Gift of All” was the theme for Christmas in the church’s International Bible Reading book. This theme was well portrayed on Thursday night by the children of Faletagaloa’s Sunday school through singing, dancing and skits.
The congregation was reminded by Reverend Vaueli that Jesus was “God’s greatest gift to the world”
He also reminded everyone how important it was “to cherish life and the lives of our loved ones for they are all gifts from God”
“When you are given something, you need to take care of it and treasure it,” he explained.
He also reminded everyone that the greatest gifts in life are the things that can’t be bought such as love, kindness, care, time and forgiveness.
“As we celebrate Christmas this year, let us all forget and forgive everything that happened to us on our journey and move forward. God gave us the greatest gift which was the life of His one and only son for us, so let us all forgive each other. Let go and let God.” The Sunday school also included cultural performances to convey the message. This was because the Sunday school teacher’s believed that our culture was one of “Samoa’s greatest gift from God.” The celebration continued on Friday morning with the presentations of gifts for the children of the Sunday school.
Boxing Day holiday yesterday saw hundreds of people flock to the beaches. For others, it was an opportunity to catch up on much-needed sleep and chores at home.