CHRISTMAS! I think I have been in love with this season for as long as I can remember. The excitement makes me giddy to the point of losing focus, like I cannot sit still once it enters my mind that yea, it is a few weeks/days to Christmas. Proof? My legs are always moving, as in even if I am sitting down, I am shaking them! It is that bad. I love the idea of Christmas, probably more than the Christmas day itself. The shopping, traveling, decorations, the anticipation, the singing and merry making, eating with reckless abandon, everything about Christmas just intoxicates me. We are reminded of how our Lord Jesus Christ humbly came down into this sinful and hard world in the form of a helpless baby to save us. Forgive me for going on and on about it, but that is how I feel. I JUST LOVE CHRISTMAS!
How do we make this particular Christmas even more exceptional than the rest especially in the face of so much suffering and pain in the world?
- Create a budget and maintain it. Easier said than done right? But not impossible. After Christmas comes the new year and its austerity. So as you spend, curtail that impulse to just spend and spend with reckless abandon. Control your spending by creating a realistic budget which will give you room to save for January which is just around the corner by the way. It helps to have an account where you do not have easy access to the money, no ATM cards, no access to internet and mobile banking. You can save a part of your income in such an account if you have one. This will help you spend wisely. However, I know that some must have been saving up over time for this moment, lucky you.
2. Decorate your homes, offices, shops, with Christmas lights, trees, wreaths and such. They have a way of lifting one’s spirit and reminding you to lighten up and be happy.
3. Share, Share, and Share. The season is a season of sharing; go out of your way to share love, laughter, gifts, prayers, anything you have to offer. There is so much hunger, pains and suffering in our world, do well to alleviate someone’s pains, to replace those tears with smiles. Extend your hands of generosity way beyond your family and friends, after all, most of them can survive without your gifts. Seek out the orphanage homes, hospitals, the slums in your vicinity, and help them have a memorable Christmas. Just knowing that there is a stranger that cares enough to remember them this season will be a great relief, don’t you agree? You can join hands with your friends, neighbours or families to achieve this on a grander scale. That was the life of Saint Nicholas whom we today celebrate as Santa Claus, assisting the needy.
- Attend midnight mass/service if you are religious. They have a way of fanning the embers of the Christmas into raging flames and reminding us of the reason for the season. It is also in keeping with the age old tradition.
- Cook that special delicacy! Treat your family and friends to that delicious food that everyone just loves. In this part of the world, Christmas day is incomplete without rice prepared in whatever way you prefer – jollof, fried, white with stew (banga or tomatoes). Coleslaw, salad, all make it more delicious and of course, chicken and turkey. (Some of us will spend the whole Christmas day in the kitchen anyway).
- Go out and socialize. I have decided that this particular Christmas, I am not going to let myself get stuck in the kitchen the whole day. I am going to go out and have some fun, it does not matter where. We spend weeks preparing for Christmas and when we meet the reality if it, it seems like anticlimax instead of climax. The day just goes pheewwwwww like that, not this year.
- Attend Special events. Depending on where you are celebrating Christmas from, there are various activities that you can attend. Here in Eastern part of Nigeria, we have football tournaments, carols, masquerade dances and exhibitions, carnivals, so many things to choose from. The weddings too, it seems that most people prefer to fix their weddings this season. These activities are often lined up from 25th of December till around 1st of January, hardly any dull moment. Avail yourself of these opportunities and go have fun with yourself and your loved ones.
- Connect with loved ones in faraway lands via skype and other social media. Arrange it in such a way that everybody partakes in one way or the other. That way, you stay in touch and spread the love.
- Entertain each other with movies, taking photographs, and such.
- Rest. Reward yourself. I know a lot of people are traveling to be with loved ones during this season. Yet some others will rather stay alone in their homes, no. Christmas is a season of joy and laughter and merry making none of which is fun when you do it alone. If you have no family, hook up with friends. I just do not like the idea of being stuck with myself during Christmas, I am sure it will be depressing. Some have loved one to visit but would rather stay back because the year has rolled to an end yet again and they are still single, still without their own kids, still not rich etcetera, and so what? Please, go home and have fun and be a source of joy to others.
From January to December, you have been working your ass off trying to make ends meet. Now is time for you to unwind and have fun, so go ahead and do that, who deserves it more than you do?
MERRY CHRISTMAS FRIENDS.
Specially sending Christmas greetings to Rob of weight2lose2013, Ifunanya and Mariam my friend who recently lost her dear brother. To every blogger, friend, colleague and visitor to this blog, Merry Christmas