BY ANOZIE EGOLE
As Christmas draws near, Christians and fun seekers are preparing for the season in different ways. Some of them are decorating their shops and offices. In some streets in Lagos, the Christmas frenzy is in the air. Carols are blaring forth from the loud speakers. The roads are jammed by traffic and shoppers from different parts of the world.
The markets are full. Food and livestocks are being sold and bought. Many people are already travelling. The banks are busy with customers making quick withdrawals. It is Christmas and many people are preparing for it.
For example, Mr. Victor Oguezeh, 20, from Imo state and an undergraduate of Anambra State University says he loves Christmas. So, anytime Christmas is at hand, Oguezeh travels to Lagos for his shopping where he buys his clothes and shoes and return to his town in the East for the celebration which include sports.
“I will first go to market to buy new pairs of shoes, jeans, T shirts, shirts and other things necessary for the celebration to be enjoyable. After that, I will set to travel on the 24th so that I will get home on the eve of Christmas which is always very enjoyable. Before I will travel, I will go and get football kits for myself because we normally have a football competition in my place which I am one of their players. In fact, I am a midfielder in my team.”
In Oguezeh’s hometown, while football and cultural displays are important, food is also appreciated. Rice and salad are usually eaten during the yuletide. Oguezeh ate these when he was still young. Then he would be excited because they were going to eat rice at Christmas.
Beyond food and festivities, there are problems associated with the season. Oguezeh is scared that as people travel, some drivers, full of alcohol, would cause accidents. He is also scared by the increase in armed robberies that now plague the season.
However, Mrs. Ada Ugochi, who lives at Ikotun in Lagos State is making sure her children get the best of the Christmas than for herself. So, the this mother of three, in her her early thirties, said she has seen many Christmases, wants her children to celebrate the season. She will buy new cloths for the children which she did last week.
Ada used to travel to her Anambra state home with her family. But she will not travel this year. Her husband will take her and the children out for shopping. They will visit some places like the MITV Christmas funfair and tourist areas for the children to enjoy.
She said, “My husband buys a new clothes for me and the children and we visit some places, even the museum, just to recreate after a hectic academic activity in the school. Though we normally visit such places once in a while but it is normally a must do on that day. Our children have become fond of going out on that day. So it is something we use to make them know that that day is special.”
On Christmas day, Ada will prepare different dishes though rice and salad with sauce must be among the delicacies the family eats before the sight seeing.
For Mr. Kunle, Christmas is like an ordinary day, so he does not prepare much for that. While remembering that it is the birth of Jesus Christ, Kunle makes sure that his family looks good and happy. So, he gives them the maximum support and assistance for Christmas by buying nice clothes for his wife and children. The family will always expects such gifts from him for Christmas. He also gives his wife money to shop and prepare the Christmas food. Afterward, the family will visit places.
Christmas, Kunle said, “is fun, but it is also very expensive and there are several problems that follow up like accidents armed robbery. I don’t like spending much during Christmas because I know what January holds for us. Things are usually very expensive in January as a result of the expenses done in December. So I normally reduce my expenses so that I will know where to fall back on in January”.
Oguezeh, Ada and Kunle may have the means to celebrate Christmas, there many many out there who cannot.