Christmas, for me, is a memory. A memory I formed once, when I visited my village in the eastern heartland of Nigeria, at a certain Christmas period, over ten years ago. That memory includes the dry sultry smell of harmattan air- the cold chilly breeze of the wee hours of the morning and at the late hours of the night. Christmas reminds me of dew, the early morning fog that symbolizes the harmattan season at its peak. This dew represents my own snow. In my head, I can make a dew man with an orange on his nose.
Christmas reminds me of a cave- that cave that seems to have been conjured all by my mind rather than the memory I think it is- where my cousins and I, in a game of bangers and knock-out throws, sought succour.
Christmas reminds me of the farm, my inexperienced trips thereto, learning to weed and harvest ripe fruits. Christmas reminds me of chicken, cooked ones, not the ones that made me take my first walking steps when I was on a chasing bout with them. It reminds me of the fact that my tradition will not allow a female eat the head of a chicken since she isn’t the head of the house.
Christmas isn’t all about the memory of the past to me.
In present times, Christmas holds the memory of my meeting some of my cousins for the first time. The ones who live in Lagos as I do but whom I never knew until recently. The ones who made me buy bangers with my not-so-hard-earned money. Bangers I never threw. Bangers I’ve never thrown. Bangers I’ll never throw.
Christmas, to me, is about giving,rejoicing,joy,bliss and thanksgiving. It is about celebrating with family and friends. What endears me most to christmas is not the eating; for to eat, I must work. It is not the gifts; for the gifts I still will exhaust. Its not in the new clothes to be purchased; on regular days, these can be bought
What endears me most to christmas is the reunion of family.Christmas is one time when my family as a whole come together to celebrate the salvation Christ wrought through his birth and subsequent death. While we laugh and play and carry out activities in this festive period, we may forget this purpose. Nonetheless, in every smile shared, every laughter cackled, every story told by my family members, I see the reward of salvation- joy and peace.
Christmas is the joy that we experience, the joy that we share and the joy that we spread. I’m looking forward to this year’s christmas with enthusiasm.
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Zaram loves you.