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|What Happened To That Good Old Christmas Cheer? by Frosti(m): 10:38am On Dec 25, 2012|
What happened to that good old Christmas cheer? Where did it fade to? Can we bring it back? These are all questions I ask myself as I look around at the sorry state of present-day Christmas and lack of joy in people’s faces. It all seems like just some huge pretense.
Like every child growing up, I loved Christmas. At that age, we knew little about the virgin birth and the personality or purpose of the God-man Jesus Christ. Our Christmas was mainly a time for all those special treats we had been waiting for, or didn’t even know about – those goodies no one would ordinarily give us were ours, or sure, on Christmas morning. There was no school, no teachers or lashes and all your friends were home and ready to play – what could be better?
Christmas was a time your wardrobe got more colourful. Mum and dad made sure they bought you something nice and new. They would definitely purchase new clothes for you to show off on Christmas day. If for some reason they could not, that aunt or uncle in Lagos, London or elsewhere would remember you and send something neat. Something new would surely come your way because someone, somewhere would show love – be it family, friends, foes, in-laws or even outlaws.
In addition, you would get matching shoes and accessories to match your clothes on Christmas morning, as you go to mass. Mum can even daub you with some perfume to smell good – it’s Christmas! But the real Christmas was after church, when you settled down to a sumptuous meal of rice and stew with a big peace of meat. You were not likely to wash it with water as before, you might get a bottle of something sweet. There would be desserts, certainly – but it wouldn’t be candy, cake or chocolate – you got something real healthy and fresh like moi-moi or pepper soup.
I belonged to a dance troupe, so soon after we ate, we hit the road with our musical instruments and start showing off with our new costumes and dancing skills. We were so well prepared, knowing fully well that other dancers would come out and challenge us. There was also entertainment galore from a galaxy of masquerades. There was noise everywhere from people cheering or screaming children, freeing from scary masquerades. It was fun and everyone was happy. That’s what is called a rich Christmas because things were natural and full of life. Every child was lovely dressed and had enough to eat. People were friendly, genuine and reached out to one another. As children, we could go anywhere we liked and present our dance. We celebrated from the heart and nobody was afraid.
But now am experiencing a different form of Christmas and the original flavor of Christmas is missing. People are surprisingly poorer, although living in bigger houses, gated communities and generate their own electricity and water. The majority of them are jobless, both mothers and fathers. But children are still eagerly awaiting gifts. But none seems to be forth coming.
I hear Christmas carols on radio and TV – when there is electricity. And I see youngsters caroling but without the usual joy. They seem more like beggars than people spreading Christmas cheer. There is a general lack of interest and the once-happy mood am accustomed to, is lacking. Mothers are going shopping and return with complaints and empty bags. Prices are hitting the rooftops. A lot of those who made my Christmas are either dead or living away from home – refusing to return for Christmas. I am told they are afraid of getting killed or kidnapped. The sound of generators is making me deaf and the fumes and those from keke na pepe are blinding me.
Am sorry for the young ones in this generation, a dry and colourless Christmas is all they can hope for.
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