Que the music, it’s that time of the year again, were we’re all supposed to be merry, jolly or whatever it is that society dictates to us so that we don’t end up on the Naughty List with no presents. Personally, I wouldn’t mind being a Grinch this year because there’s nothing festive about NHIS people lurking around my neighbourhood, waiting for me to leave my house so that I can become an unfortunate lab-rat for their new and improved palliative (They’ve taken off their uniforms and are now going about in plain clothes…….Mumu-ism is contagious this period). Anyway, like I was saying, there’s just something about the month of December in general that instills in everyone a certain ginger to outdo themselves. As of such, as soon as the 1st of December rolls around, you start to notice some tell-tale signs that the Christmas Mania is about to begin.
They creep out suddenly like weeds and spread everywhere. And I do mean EVERYWHERE. In your homes. In church. I’m not even kidding. Your mall is normal one day, and then the very next day, it’s like a tinsel bomb went off in the place, complete with fake snow and a Christmas tree that has seen better days. Even your local butcher makes the effort to distract you from the usual blood and gore by setting up an inflatable Santa Claus outside his shop (But because this is also Nigeria, that Santa will also double as an advertisement board, letting you know that if you buy 2 whole chicken now, you can get a small box of chin-chin for free. Happy Xmas!). Oh! And I forgot about THE LIGHTS…….don’t even get me started on the lights. My heart starts to palpitate when I think of the electrical bills some people are going to receive come the new year. I can understand decorating your gates with lights. I can even understand the busybodies that wrap Christmas lights around traffic lights (Because they know the traffic lights don’t work for s**t, so they came up with a indigenous, cost-effective way to solve the problem. Why do you think those Christmas lights only come in red and green?). But aunty, why would you wrap Christmas lights around your car? Granted electrocution is a very unique Christmas gift, but it’s one gift I can do without, thank you. Keep your suicidal tendencies to yourself.
2. NEW DREDS
Can you honestly say that you’re ready to flex this Christmas period when you haven’t even bought your new holiday digs? Your local markets & boutiques are going to be full to the brim this season because everyone wants to get the best of what sellers have to offer, at the right price, before everything goes out of stock. You plan on flaunting your selling point this season because you know that it’s going to be a Parte After Parte situation. So make ready with the new gowns, trads, suits, shoes, bags, jewellery, you name it. I want to see bling, I want to see you sparkle. Empty that bank account. Who needs savings when you can bankrupt yourself for clout this holiday? If you perish, you perish. We can all cross that bridge when we get there. Oh, and don’t forget that snazzy new haircut/hairdo that you’ve been itching to try. It’s Christmas so go big. Forgo your normal fade & spring for a mohawk. Add a splash of colour too. You want all eyes to be on you at every event you attend this holiday.
3. NEW ARRIVALS
Expect this on a Local and International scale. When I say Local, think in the sense of Home Invasion. Suddenly your house is overrun with aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces and other random relatives you never knew existed in the same hemisphere. Madness is a common factor in this scale. My friend is currently in his village with 8 uncles, 3 aunts, 12 cousins and counting (Fuji House of commotion all over again. It’s not even him I pity, it’s the sister. Who do you think is going to cook for all those people? I’m sure even their Umunna will invite themselves over at some point. Then she’ll now become the general househelp, fetching water, washing plates & clothes till thy kingdom come). On an International scale, we’re talking about whole towns or cities being overtaken by new faces. All those people coming back from Le Abroad or from a different state, all to catch cruise in your area. Suddenly all your favourite spots are crowded, roads are blocked and you start getting chyked with new, sweet accents you haven’t heard before……..Hmmn, when you put it like that, the International situation doesn’t seem so bad.
4. MEAT CRAZE
What’s at the heart of Christmas? Family you say? Keep deceiving yourself. IT’S MEAT! THAT’S RIGHT, MEAT! AS in chicken, beef, turkey, ram, goat meat, pork, bush meat, you name it. Why do you think the price of meat always goes up during the festive season? Families that normally can’t afford the luxury of daily meat look forward to Christmas with a vengeance because they know the abundance of meat they’ll consume on the 25th will be enough to sate their meat cravings until next year. Christmas meat differs from regular meat in the same way that House Jellof differs from Party Jellof. It’s specially prepped, seasoned and fried or roasted. Quite frankly, when I heard a story that a guy pushed his friend into a gutter because the friend ate his meat, I understood. I sympathised. But I can never be stupid enough to bring out my Jolly meat around friends and family. I hoard it, like the gollum that I am, then wait for everyone else to finish eating theirs. Then, and only then, do I slink away into the darkness to consume my precious.
5. ESSENTIAL STOCKING
Stocking of goods to be exact. Public favourites include cornflakes, powdered milk, Omo, Milo/Ovaltine, Bath Soap/Dish Washing liquid, Sardine/Corned Beef, Toilet paper and most importantly Juice/Soft Drinks/Alcohol (How else are you going to get through the holidays with your In-Laws without alcohol?). Normally, this happens for two reasons: 1) You know the prices of foodstuff and utilities are going to rise and you’re in a mad rush to beat the trend, so you drag your entire family to the nearest supermarket, make each one of them drag a trolley, and you stuff them until the wheel bars of the trolleys sag OR 2) You know that you’re going to be broke come January (because you can’t just be flexing and spraying 50k anyhow at every wedding you go to and still expect to remain buoyant in the New Year. Mentally prepare yourself for poverty). So you want to buy everything that you think you’ll need for the new year, now that you have money, so that when you spend the rest with abandon, you’ll do it with a clean heart.
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