There is life, and that there should be greater quality life after year 2020 Christmas is no witticism. Yes, because it has been a roller-coaster year for all and sundry. No one was exempted from the challenges of the year. Not even suckling babies; they also had their fair share of the ruckus. Children were almost denied of their rightful places in homes and schools. The climax of the saga remained with the adults, couples and government officials who were impacted by the things that happened in the country. There was anger, hunger, bitterness, betrayal of trust and poor governance. The masses bore the brunt of the hardship brought about by the perilous times. But in it all, God showed Himself forever faithful.
Now, having been privileged to witness the drama of the special year from beginning till the end, being alive is definitely enough reason to be grateful to God. In fact, some free thinkers jokingly say that year 2020 consists of January, February, Lockdown, #EndSARS and December. It takes only the living who witnessed the drama to tell the story of the eventful year.
It, therefore, signifies that everyone should be calm. No one should be hard on oneself; no one should pressurize oneself and should not allow any other person to pressurize or cajole one into what they cannot do. Every expense, if there should be, should come in the order of preference. Whatever that cannot be accommodated financially should remain outside the list till further notice. No one should compare himself with anybody, or feel oppressed. Every successful person has a story. Let no one think there is no achievement in the year because an early morning school bell that sounds as a disturbance also sounds interesting at 2:00p.m.
It is for all to know that life is a matter of time. Not everyone that is walking fast has an appointment, some have runny stomach. The life one has in the year 2020, is one’s greatest achievement. One should not forget that a rose that smells better than tomato cannot cook sweet stew like tomato. Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit.
What is the message? Funny enough, the communication is that this particular Christmas requires all and sundry to maintain a straight, bold face to any stressful issue, especially finance. This is not the season to showcase any stuff at all. Not even for children who are the sole title-holders of Christmas celebrations in every context. There may be demands for long distance travelling, especially for Easterners, visit to places of interest, new clothes and shoes, accessories, expectations of sumptuous meals and pure Christmas celebrations. If such lists appear on a man’s table, it should not be trashed out in anger, because it is Madam’s rightful place to make Christmas case for herself and the children. It is also a payback time, settlement and happy moment for the entire family. At such times, all temper must find its cooling place and genuine reasoning together must take place. It should not call for wrestling or flexing of muscles, rather the issues should be sorted out amicably.
In fairness to various households, Christmas is worth enjoying, but if it could not be afforded, let all understand and bear it for there is life after Christmas. Women who are demanding for Christmas wears for themselves and their children, have you also considered that schools would resume in the second week of January? Have you considered the house rent of next year? So many people have not set off their present bills, the home must function and other bills must be paid. When all these are put into consideration, one would realize that there would be life after Christmas. Would a responsible man or woman prefer Christmas celebrations above his children’s school fees, house rent or embarrassing ‘NEPA’ bills? Not at all.
I have heard of silent frowning of faces because of Christmas celebrations. No, sisters, it should not be on both sides. Surprisingly, let all note that the season is not for families alone, but for friends, well-wishers, corporate organizations and churches who would stand in the gap to support others during the season. Kudos to various non-governmental organizations, NGOs, who have started gathering widows and the less privileged to extend their human milk of kindness during the season. It is not about competition for anyone, both personal and private.
To the wicked givers, this is not an opportunity to display wickedness in giving. All those who send a bag of rice to a whole gathering of the women in the community is simply mocking them instead of comforting them. Indeed, they might be in need, but do not make their need look very obvious as if they are already in hellfire with your gifts. Aunties and uncles whose bags of clothes and shoes are falling from all sides of the wardrobe, this is the time to spread them out. Surprise someone with a quality gift and obey the rules of giving. Do not give out what you cannot use. Package some foodstuff and drop in the homes of your friends. Former Chairman and Managing Director of Costain West Africas Plc, Mr. Newton Jibunoh, used to drop tubers of yam from his farm on the doorsteps of his neighbours on his street in Ikoyi. Little did he know that one of the recipients was General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida who became the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and chairman of Armed Forces Ruling Council. A day came, when IBB walked down to have a one-on-one with his regular yam supplier and a robust relationship was struck till date.
Interestingly, if the truth must be told, Christmas season is a wonderful time all over the world in the lives of people because it comes with ecstasy, charisma, reunion, beautiful feeling, mixed weather and happiness. It is also the last month that ushers in the New Year. Just like the late Dr. Adelumola Ogunade of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, told us, his students, during a lecture: “Obscenity has no definition, but when you see it, you know it.” Christmas is that special moment one recognizes with ease because of its message, what it brings with it and the celebrations around it. The beautiful flowery decorations, harmattan breeze, eruption of beautiful fresh roses, dust haze, the usual movement of the people, all identify with the season of Christmas. The season has no specific definition, but whenever the time comes, people make massive adjustments from travelling to shopping spree, continuous entertainment all through to the new year.
Even as 2020 came with its trouble, some are still hoping to enjoy Christmas to the fullest. Preparations have started earnestly for such individuals and families. They are ready to pay any amount of money to transporters as far as Christmas would be enjoyed. But the reunion that comes with Christmas is unquantifiable. Relatives especially grandparents look forward to welcoming their children and grand-children home during the festive period. It is the opportunity where children are taken round their communities to at least improve on their local dialects.
Dear Nigerians, on a very personal note, some individuals, families, communities, business partners, neighbours, colleagues and friends do not need the usual exchange of physical gifts during this season, all they need is to settle old disputes, make peace, forgive each other, seek unity and heal every wound. This would be the greatest gift one can give and take home during this season. That of forgiveness and reconciliation remains the best gifts of the season. Merry Christmas all !!