Abuja – Some FCT residents have expressed concerns over the declining culture of gift giving and sending of personalised Christmas messages to families and loved ones.
Most respondents, who spoke, said that unlike previous years, they did not receive any gift or special goodwill messages.
According to them, Christmas is the time of giving and appreciating loved ones but all the traditions seemed to have been watered down by social media and gradual loss of humanity.
Respondents noted that Nigerians used to be known for feeding their neighbours, giving out cash and hampers during the yuletide which seems to be eroding now.
They added that 2018 Christmas and Boxing Day celebrations did not come with the usual buzz and excitement due to economic challenges and general lack of spirit.
Mr Immanuel Ohimai, a lawyer, said he did not receive any gift and sadly found out he was the only person who sent hampers among his circle of friends.
“This year’s case is just terrible. Usually, gift exchange used to be the in-thing for Christmas as it is the end-of the-year appreciation window.
“I did not receive any although I sent to people. I don’t blame them though, the economy is not helping and also, people don’t think gifts are appreciated anymore,” he said.
Meanwhile, some other respondents argued that the age-long tradition is dying because of social media and the unrealistic idea of gifts that keep trending.
Miss Nyakno Offiong, a stylist, said, “To be honest, I struggled with what to buy for my loved ones this Christmas.
“The thing is, it’s hard to know what people will like and social media doesn’t help. I have not received any gift yet and I am sure people also don’t know what to buy.
“All over social media, people are gifting flashy things and subconsciously, you don’t know if your small gift will be appreciated as social media seems to be the standard,” Offiong said.
Another respondent, Mrs Charity Ebele, a caterer, agreed that social media is a contributing factor but for her, it was the loss of humanity that caused the decline.
“I received a gift from my husband only and I gave out some to my family members. For me, the issue is people are going further apart because of social media.
“You can only present a thoughtful gift when you know someone and these days, that humanity feeling is eroding. Growing up, we used to share food or hampers.
“People don’t just like themselves so much anymore and let’s not also forget the economic challenges as well,” Ebele said.
Also, respondents complained about the increasing number of broadcast yuletide goodwill messages against heartfelt personalised messages.
They said that majority of the wishes they got was on Whatsapp with the ‘forwarded’ notification clearly written on them.
Mr Festus Uzo, a pharmacist said he received only two personal messages and several broadcast, sometimes receiving the same message three times from different people.
On the same issue, Mr Ango Williams, a banker, feels the value of human relationship has reduced over time and might be worse with the evolving of social media.
“Some people did not have the decency to send a direct broadcast so I can assume the message was personal. They just forward what had been sent to them.
He stated that he usually took out time to compose heartfelt messages but was not motivated to continue seeing the same messages all over Whatsapp.(NAN)