Merry Christmas! And here’s a Christmas story for you

Merry Christmas! And here’s a Christmas story for you

Merry Christmas! To you, your family and everybody around you, eh? ‘Tis the season to be jolly 💃

For some reason, a lot of people are not feeling this Christmas season; maybe it’s because of the pandemic, the fact that a second wave is imminent or that 2020 has just been one big ball of rolling stone actually gathering moss. Ugh.

In any case, you’ve probably heard this a million times before but if you’re reading this, it means you’re alive and believe me, as long as there’s life, there IS hope. So cheer up.

I’m listening to “Keep Me Warm,” by Julian De Vizio and it’s the only Christmas song I actually like this year. Although I have no idea why all everybody wants for Christmas is you… Hehe.

I remember a Christmas filled with layered Cinderella-like gowns, endless visitors at home and enough Malta Guinness to start a small business. My family was that family that always went out on Christmas day, giving no heed to the horrible Lagos traffic that always plagued the city on days like this. Now that I think about it, the traffic wasn’t even that bad growing up. Things have really gotten worse.

My most profound Christmas outing has to be that time my family went to Bar Beach on Christmas day, or was it Lekki beach? I can’t remember which one exactly. It was amazing! It was the first time I rode a horse, went on the smaller version of a ferris wheel with my big bro. I was 9 or 10, when things actually interested me and 1 dollar wasn’t N480.

The funniest thing happened at the beach.

A man who sold woven hats walked up to my dad and asked if we wanted to take pictures with his woven hats. No, no, please move away before my dad starts to contemplate this suggestion you have suggested, I thought in my big head.
The hats were ugly and looked like seaweed – no way would that go on my hair. My mother spent close to 10 minutes to get my “Bob Marley” hairstyle in the perfect form I liked – a ponytail right at the centre of my head. Was I supposed to wear the seaweed on my fine ponytail? Mbanu. God please.

I looked at my elder sister out of the corner of my eye and by virtue of the frown on her fair, oval face, I knew we were on the same page. But it was out of our hands; I’ve always known my father to be a compassionate man who did not refuse requests if he could afford to. It didn’t matter if we were IT.

And that was how we ended up taking pictures with vomit green woven hats, perched shakily on the edge of my high ponytail and my sister’s synthetic wig (Oh the days when nothing like bone straight or even closures existed.) 😂😂😂

How I managed to smile in that picture, I don’t know but if you’re expecting to see the picture here then you got another thing coming. LMAO, that’s ammunition for my enemies come July 2 and I will not be handing that over easily.

These days are different,

The traffic in Lagos has got heavier and I wouldn’t go out if you offered me N1 million, places are much more crowded than they used to be. There’s a partial lockdown, you can’t even breathe the polluted Lagos air properly when you go out because you have to wear a nose mask. Everything is so stressful.

Sigh. “Giants” by Dermot Kennedy playing now.

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be up cutting and dicing carrots and others of that ilk in preparation for Christmas rice. It’ll be hot and sweaty, I’ll be complaining, gisting and laughing my ass out with my siblings as we slave in the kitchen. I’ll ditch the foreign Christmas songs I can’t even relate to and jam instead to the likes of Flavour, Umu Obiligbo, Phyno, Zoro etc etc
My mother would come around to peek at our activities and gist a little before disappearing to do amebo with her husband while reducing the number of drinks (especially Malt) in stock. I’ll try severally to steal fried chicken and I’ll fail, because my big sister has the sharpest eyes ever and my little sister will tell on me. But later, she’ll share a piece among us.

Then food will be served and we’ll all settle down in front of the TV and watch whatever is on. And if we find everything too boring, I’ll download a Christmas movie on my laptop and connect it via HDMI to the TV. Amidst the clatter of cutlery against chinaware, we’ll laugh and reminisce and forget the movie we were supposed to be watching in the first place.

Visitors will come over and I will run and hide because I don’t want to serve anybody anything, neither do I want to plaster a fake smile on my face and murmur unintelligible sounds in the name of greeting.

My little sister will complain about all the plates she has to wash and we’ll all ignore her because it’s her turn to shine and nobody sent her to be the last born…

Okay come back come back

It’s moments like this that I am grateful for even though things may not be exactly how I’d like them to be. And I know that even though Christmas may not be how you’d like it to be, there’s always something to be grateful for. Find it and amplify it.

Earlier today, I happened to go out into the streets for a stroll and I could not believe the Christmas vibe in the air. Christmas lights in every store staying out late hoping to make some extra sales, children playing in the streets. A carnival was brewing, a DJ stand had already been set up on the side of the road and children and youths alike were showcasing the meanest legwork I’d ever seen!

It hit me like a rock and it slowly crossed my mind, “Happiness is a choice!” If these people who literally looked like what they were going through could be this happy, dancing and playing without a care in the world, why should I be sad because I don’t have a million dollars in my account?

It’s the season of joy, don’t let anything weigh you down. Don’t. Not now, not ever.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and I hope that this season brings you multiple blessings, that you start to feel the spirit of Christmas and that it translates to a deep rooted peace and joy that you deserve to feel this season.

Stay merry, stay bad.

Your favourite Wolf.

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December 2020