I once saw Father Christmas climb over the fence and come in through the back door of my house in the dead of the night. To think a man of good tidings chooses to be a nocturnal visitor. Of course traditionally I should have said he came in through the chimney but that would have been a blatant lie the way my first statement is also a BLATANT lie. I am not one to believe in father Christmas or Santa Claus (Depending on where you reside along the equator, I would like to believe they are one and the same). Never as a child did i fall for the deceitful stories of father Christmas putting presents under the Christmas tree. I wonder why parents still bother with such lies LOL. When we were little, my sisters and i would sneak out of our rooms to the staircase just to peep at our parents arranging the presents under the Christmas tree (bless them). Despite all my knowledgable doubts towards father Christmas, Christmas has always been the best holiday or rather used to be the best.
A lot has changed about Christmas in recent years, at least from what i remember. The excitement building up from the 1st of December like we were certain we were going to see Jesus has dampened a bit. Abuja does not even help elevate spirits with the miserly Christmas decorations sparsely scattered around the city, It simply Reeks of poverty.
I remember we would stay up all night composing Christmas texts to send to loved ones. We always found setting up of the Christmas tree tasking, but we always basked in the pride of our work. It always looked so beautiful. My mother never held back her pockets on Christmas decorations, she always went all out. On Christmas morning, we would wake up early and look under our beds. Father Christmas with his red and white suit and big round tummy would have snuck into our rooms in the middle of the night and placed presents under each bed. Poor wrappers torn apart with glee. Under the Christmas tree was always a land slide of presents heaped up. Camera, lights, action… The tearing race would begin with the recording tapes rolling. Each present was labelled with our names. Some of us got five, some four, some three.
I vividly remember the day my younger sister picked a present with her name, nicely wrapped. Her smile so wide it fit the width of the gift. She unwrapped it impatiently to the very last cellotape tearing and smiling, sweet labour. On seeing the gift Eye brows furrowed forming a wrinkle in the middle of her head. Her lips spread apart forming a U immediately replaced with an upside down smile. She had gotten a dictionary for Christmas. The rest of us tried so hard to conceal our laughter.
Christmas was much more fun growing up. Now as adults we get to decide if we want a Christmas tree, often the answer falls in the negative who has time for that. Most of us no longer see the need to sit up all night composing text messages to send to loved ones. We barely even wait for twelve o’clock anymore on their birthdays, talk about growing up. My mum then used to send out Christmas cards. I remember Christmas cards and cakes flooding into the house. Now nobody even remembers there is such a thing as a Christmas card. On the bright side, technology has saved us money. For those of us that live alone, Christmas day just happens to be one of those regular days. We are reminded it’s the 25th by the text messages we receive on the phone. Heavenly jollof rice is very absent, there is no ofe nsala and pounded yam set on the table, no fried rice and salad and no chicken wings. Rather we source for these things in the comfort of our friends family homes.
Christmas gifts are almost forgotten. That is what i used to look forward to. I remember when i was coocoo about the Harry Potter series, I got like three books at once one Christmas. I was ecstatic. How could i forget about the Christmas clothes that would remain our celebrated attires till the next Christmas.
Recession has not helped either. It is affecting the grown ups and the little humans. Ten bowls of rice cooked previously on Christmas day would have cut down to five. Families would probably be reluctant to receive visitors now as they are trying to eat their fill first. People now get one bag of rice as compared to the five that used to grace homes. Some people do not even receive hampers anymore, what is hamper?
So growing up sucks big time. We have grown into these individuals that constantly think about money, girls and then boys (for the girls). Most of us do not see these things as necessary anymore. I guess its the phase we are in. The irony of it all is, we are approaching another phase in life that will have us pretending we treasure the season just for the sake of the little humans we bring into the world. How i miss the simple times of my youth. But you know what they say about growing up: Its like a hole filled with scorpions you are so willing to jump into.
I would still encourage the giving though. Get a christmas gift for a loved one, no matter how little. (I pray to take my advise)
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!