“There is nothing like a festive holiday, each year at Christmas I have a lot of plans and usually made a lot of noise about it.” – Pastor Eunice
The gaiety of Christmas is here again. It is everywhere. Millions of Nigerians are caught up in the spirit of the season. No less so are the celebrities. Some notable ones among them spoke with Sunday Sun and revealed what they will do in two days – December 25, the Christmas Day proper.
I’ll rock Christmas at home with my kids – Pastor Eunice Iferi Chukwuemeka, Winning Power International Ministries
No matter the tribe, religion or social status, Nigerians are known to go all out on shopping for the holidays, and most importantly, they select the most gorgeous of all apparels to wear on the 25th of December, to celebrate the Christmas holiday. Some families go all out to make custom designs, identical fabrics or uniform colours for every single member of the family. In some areas, different families try to outdo each other by wearing elaborate styles when they go visiting on the day. It all adds to the holiday fun and excitement.
As a child, I worried about the clothes and shoes to put on, though my parents took care of that. I always wanted to look gorgeous. The idea of the Christmas rice, the way we eat it, with friends and family, you know, filled with so much excitement and I really liked it then. The whole place filled with Christmas trees and decorations. The excitement usually starts on the Christmas eve. Younger children tend to take advantage of the custom to play pranks on passersby, throwing the firecracker around them when they least suspect it. The lights and rush of adrenalin that comes with the knockouts (banger) is what makes the tradition so exciting.
Some families actually make a ceremony out of it, now people make videos and post online or on their family pages and Santa Claus (Father Christmas) .The memory I had growing up at Christmas remained remarkable.
Now that I am grown, I do the buying and I watch some of the activities now. There is nothing like a festive holiday, each year at Christmas I have a lot of plans and usually made a lot of noise about it. Several activities lined up just to celebrate the season. Last year we had a white Christmas in the United Kingdom but this year I am going to have a quiet Christmas, cruising with my kids at home.
I’ll spend Xmas at Calabar Carnival – Ebele Enemchukwu, Mrs. Tourism United Nations World
The Christmas season is always a beautiful period of the year. It is filled with excitement and joy. My plan for this year is to spend it in Calabar, the Cross River State capital so that I can be part of the Carnival Calabar, Africa’s biggest street party. I am fully looking forward to that and I am ready to relax and enjoy the experience, once again.
It is normal to expect a Christmas gift one would treasure. For me, what I would really love is get a $100,000 transfer to my bank account. I have lots of projects for early 2019. That amount will go a long way to fund my projects. Hahahaha!
When I look back at the past Christmas seasons, I still get goose pimples each time I remember 2007, because the Christmas of that year coincided with the traditional marriage to the man of my dreams. The whole world came for us. It was truly beautiful.
For me every day is Christmas – Kayode Ajulo, lawyer and politician
Where would I like to spend Christmas? Honestly, no thought provoking attempt nor vivid recollection can, in the very apt words, convey my answer because, invariably my perception is different from what people would naturally expect.
First, I am a deeply rooted Anglican and for me, Christmas celebration is at the core of my faith. However, I am not one of those that see the 25th day of December as any more special than every other day. This very fact is an offshoot of my experience as a discerning child, budding in the suburbs of Ibadan.
In those days, my father was always enthusiastic about the felicity and jamboree that comes with the Yuletide. He would ceremoniously take us to the tailor’s shop then at Ago Tailors to sew agbada for Christmas and the national buba and shokoto for the New Year celebration.
I recall with glee and ecstasy how my mother’s culinary skill came into play especially with regards to her signature jollof rice à la mode the ceremonious killing of turkey and goat. I used the epithet signature because she alone had the recipe of the sumptuous jollof at that time. She, rather than the conventional jollof rice cooked with oil, she prepared the rice with butter.
This and many more recollections, too numerous to mention, is to tell you the extent to which, for us, the season came always, as memorable.
At a point, my mother fell ill and was admitted at the University Teaching Hospital, Ife. Standing beside her, I raised the issue of what we would eat and wear for Christmas due to her health. She retorted saying, ‘’Son, don’t be worried as everyday will soon be Christmas for you.”
This particular response today, forms the major hallmark of my perception in this regard. So for me, every day is Christmas. The question of where I would love to spend my Christmas doesn’t arise because at any time and at any point, I can go cruising, lounging, kayaking, golfing and/or chilling with my family and friends anywhere in the world, if I like.
As the son of a bookseller in Ibadan then, my lifestyle was not particularly sedentary but I can concede that it was triangular in nature, that is, our life revolved around school, church and home. However, my memorable Christmas ever was when I was taken to my home town, Ifira-Akoko in Ondo State during one of the Christmas seasons.
At the country home, I became the cynosure of all eyes, the toast of all and sundry and like a flower nectar soon to be festered upon by bees, people always wanted me around their house and given the size of our place, there was enough to go round both food, drinks and merriment.
But the most profound of all is the pure and unalloyed love, charity and camaraderie I felt and witnessed among clansmen for the very first time.
To even tell you how memorable it was, my parents, against their usual style, didn’t look for me because I knew someone in every household and the knowledge of that was soothing enough for them not to worry about my whereabouts.
I experienced what is freedom and love and this remained the best Xmas ever for me.
What gift would you treasure most for Christmas? You see, my greatest dissatisfaction and by extension, what constitutes a major misfortune for humanity, particularly in Africa today is the fact that people keep asking and wanting to receive without actually giving.
My thoughts are more appositely expressed in the evergreen quotes of Mother Theresa where she said, “It is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving” and, Sir Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
Seriously, people want to take but do not want to give in return and this, by no small measure indents a cause of worry and agitation for me. In all sincerity, I am not being supercilious here but I know, God in his wondrous incomprehensibility fashioned and molded me to be a blessing to those around me and in my own humanly and humble efforts, I have, out of the grits and bounty from which God’s providence has availed me, religiously followed this path.
Again, given my social status and the rung of life’s ladder upon which God has firmly established me, people always believe you have it all, the society thinks you have all you need and as such giving you gifts is like taking coal to Newcastle.
Nobody actually deems it fit to give me gifts apart from some very senior lawyers and other senior citizens and clients. For example, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, sent me a beautiful diary that arrived just in time. This is a yearly ritual that I have always cherished. From these facts, you would arrive at the clearest understanding of why I treasure every gift I receive.
Every gift I receive, I do so with a heart laden with gratitude, a heart laced with unreserved appreciation and thanks.
To this end, the gift I treasure most is not the gift given in itself but the pure love that attends to such giving; particularly given the financial and social constraint of the givers, therein lies my appreciation.
It’s a time to forgive, show love – Sally Mbanefo, former DG, Nigeria Tourism Development Commission and current Anambra State Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artworks, Culture and Tourism
Celebrating the birth of Christ is a time to show more love to my neighbour, a time to forgive; a time to deny myself to feed others and bring joy to their hearts. It’s a time to bond with food, love and Jesus. In line my usual practice, I will be spend Christmas with my family. For me, Christmas is family bonding time.
I have no plans made yet, still too busy – Ade Bakare, Creative Artist, Ade Bakare Couture
To be honest, I am not sure what I am doing this Christmas. I have three opinions: Travel to Ghana, Ibadan or Dubai for Christmas. But this depends on when we close for Christmas, as you can see this is a busy time for designers.
In the past, I used to spend Christmas in the country in Suffolk. It was really exciting with Christmas carols in church, and walking back home in the snow.
After performing, I’ll go out with my son – Aralola Olamuyiwa, Globally renowned drummer
I will be on stage after which I will have an outing with my son. The most memorable Christmas that rings a bell was my first Christmas as a mother. Words can’t fully express it. My son was seven months at the time. I looked forward to motherhood, so, it was a dream come true.