In Kenya, there is a figure, similar to Santa, referred to instead as Father Christmas. Like Santa, he is a big man, dressed in red, that delivers Christmas presents on Christmas Eve. While gift giving is a tradition, the emphasis is not as commercialized as it is in the West. More focus is placed on family time, church gatherings, and on celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Unlike the cold felt in North America in December, it is the warmest month in Kenya, making Christmas a Summer holiday. Trees are decorated, but not all families have one. However, the trees that are decorated are typically those native to the land, including thorn trees, cypress trees, or local evergreens.
Christmas is celebrated on December 25, but celebrations tend to occur from Christmas Eve through December 26, which is Boxing Day, and traditionally a day of relaxation and family time. Christmas in Kenya is considered a public holiday. While primarily a religious celebration, Christmas in Kenya is full of traditional and cultural celebrations, including special holiday foods and treats. A very popular traditional meat served for Christmas in Kenya is barbecued goat, often eaten straight off of the grill. Traditional treats served in Kenya are chapati and mandazi. Chapati is a flatbread, eaten with many meals including stew. Mandazi are East African Donuts and are often served with tea or coffee.