The annual festival that honours the birth of Jesus Christ will be embraced amongst many churches across the Cook Islands, starting this weekend.
Celebration Church will kick off the weekend with a Christmas service on Friday at 7pm. The family celebration will include special entertainment, carols and a Christmas message.
Celebration Church will also have a normal service on Sunday at 10am.
Cook Islands Christian Churches (CICC) around the island will have special services this Sunday at 6pm, while some will do a Christmas service (Tiaki Kiritimiti) from 8pm-11.30pm.
CICC will also hold their main service on Christmas Day when all Ekalesias celebrate Christmas on Monday at 10am.
The Apostolic Church will incorporate a Christmas celebration into their usual Sunday services held at 10am and 7pm.
At St Joseph’s Cathedral in Avarua, Catholic worshippers will be holding their normal mass on Sunday at 9am and 10.30am, as well as a Christmas Eve mass at 8pm. The following day, there will be a 9am mass at St Joseph’s Cathedral.
St Mary’s Catholic Church at Arorangi will hold its normal Sunday service starting at 10am, followed by a Christmas Eve service in the evening. It will begin at 7pm and will feature entertainment, with the mass itself scheduled to start at10pm. There will be another service at the church on Monday, Christmas Day, at 10am.
Latter-day Saints will also conduct a Christmas Eve service on Sunday at 10am-11:30.
Christmas is also a time for extended families to join together in fellowship.
It’s a time for people to pause in their busy lives and spend quality time with each other.
Of course it is also an opportunity to reflect on the good and bad of the year and think about how to make changes moving forward into the New Year.
Throughout the country, thousands of people will be embracing the “Christmas spirit” of giving and showing love to others.