CHRIST(‘S)MAS OR X-MAS?

Call me Scrooge and slap me silly or the Grinch-that-stole-Christmas and pinch me blue! What am I on about? The early Christmas hullabaloo!!

Do not mistake my grouchiness for dislike of the season, I simply do not understand why we must begin to “deck the halls” and gift-shop from the first day of December! By the time the actual Christmas week rolls around I have “festive fatigue”!! See, most of us, myself very included, in this economy and current inflated…everything…do not have the luxury of time to sit and day dream about shiny bright lights and blinking baubles on trees <who’s history in the African context is suspect> and gifts we can barely afford unless we steal hours to make them ourselves! Or maybe we should all, for those 24hours of the feted 25th, revert to our childhood state so we can truly enjoy the festivities without a care about bills from here to the afterlife come the equally celebrated New Year.

I am all for celebrating the birth of our Saviour but I have a huge problem with how it is done by many. Plus by the time the real Christmas day rolls round all the joy has gone out of it, for me, at least. Why must we squander sums irreplaceable when we’ve been miserly all year through and all on our selves(selves inclusive of family)? Trips abroad or out of town, further lining pockets of transporters from air to rail and everything in between as they ruthlessly hike their fares claiming ‘peak’ rates; yet another monster we have nurtured with our excesses. Family gatherings are sweet but when they turn into a contest about which sibling gave the parents the priciest gift, the opposite becomes reality, Rivalries, debt, irritations and misunderstandings between spouses, siblings, parents, employers, employees and the whole lot and you wonder where the “Merry” in the greeting disappeared to! Boss didn’t give you that hefty Christmas bonus? Parents didn’t get you that Nintendo WII? Boyfriend didn’t get you that rose gold ring? Neighbour didn’t invite you to that Choma? Come on, do we always have to receive for it to be Christmas? Do we have to string up ugly hues of cheap crepe and place unnecessary trinkets under even more incomprehensible Christmas trees to truly display our Christmas spirit?

Malls in Nairobi started decorating by the last week of November, advertisements on mainstream media began with their “Christmas Sale” rags by the 5th  of December everyone begun to get into the “holiday mood” >>If you ask me, it’s an excuse to be legally unproductive 😉 True, everyone needs a good break at the end of the year, but why do we fuel the December madness by accumulating our ‘leave’ days, booking left right and centre all roads leading out of our locales and saving up to fill bottomless pits all in a matter of a few days? Surely! And the sad bit is, many of us will not be celebrating the real reason for the season, we will be celebrating ourselves. Feeding the body(self), drinking(self), travelling for leisure(self), partying(self). Alright I won’t bore you with the “sharing is caring” adage but it begs some consideration if you think you need it then doesn’t someone else who can not in the least afford it need a bite of the ‘holiday’ as well?

Again if you love all the bits about Christmas that I seemingly dislike, fear not, you’re a part of the majority. However, spare a thought for those this season who may have nothing to be merry about other than the life they barely hold on to. Spend wisely, travel safely and thank God for your cheery self.

Ah, I tire. Let me go board my ‘matatu’ full of people with already heaped shopping bags loudly making travel plans on their cell-phones in preparation for “Christmas”.

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