Once again, it’s December. That time of the year when the world goes gaga about the birth of some homeless chap some 2,000 years ago. Where has the time gone? When did it get late so soon? Its only the other day that we promised ourselves to read 52 books in 2018 but have done only 20.We swore to lose 20kg, but instead added 3kg.Yes,we got lost-but in the right direction. That’s life.
Once again, it’s that time of the year when life coaches tell you how to survive the festive season. There will dish out the usual clichés about not over drinking at the end of year party. There will be the usual tired platitudes about saving for January. As if we don’t know. Here we don’t do platitudes or clichés .We make fun of the mistakes we all make every festive season year in year out. Here we go:
Deaths leave behind ghosts. The death of the year at the end of December brings forth a month called January that’s haunted with ghosts of school fees, empty stomachs and mean shylocks. Spend wisely if you are not comfy with working with ghosts. There is no December in January. But if you have no problem with spooky ghouls, go ahead and splurge-kwa raha zako.
The festive season brings together people who rarely meet in the name of family re-unions. Collisions are thus bound to happen. They are normal-as long as they don’t involve flying pans, bottles and the area OCS. Embrace them the way soldier embraces battles.
Woe unto those damsels who promised their aunties that by the end of this year, they will have brought some hunkie in a shining Hummer home for marriage. Those pesky aunties will be on their case. Girls, you have two choices. You can hire a boyfriend for the three days that you will be at the village-there are a thousand and one young men in skinny jeans and oversize Techno phones who are willing to do that job for less than 10 dollars per day. The other alternative is to tell your aunties that you are married to the Lord-and is in the process of joining a convent called the Sorority of Sorrows. Choose which trick to use-thank me later.
I can’t avoid a cliché here-celebrate mildly. We are celebrating Jesus Christ’s birthday, not yours. For those conscious souls who celebrate alternatives to Christmas like Ismas,go easy on the ital steam Rasta! We don’t want County fire engines rushing to your house thinking it’s on fire. Such a false fire alarm will leave you with huge bill from the County honchos.
As for Pan Africanists like yours truly who celebrate Kwanzaa instead of Christmas, go slow on those polemics about the irrelevance of white Christmas in the tropics. Just don your kitenges and kentes, do your Nguzo Saba and stop being overly academical about a foreign holiday.
If you cannot celebrate Christmas for one reason or the other-fret not. It’s not compulsory.In fact, there is no connection between that crazy commercialized pagan festival and the day the saddled Nazarene was born.
The thing with modern children is that they have too many choices. Christmas in our days used to be three things, Fanta, chapattis and new shorts. That did not make them less colourful.Buy your children only what you can afford -don’t be hostage to their demands. None of them will understand you when you say you don’t have their school fees come opening day.Which is the week after Christmas.
If every time you donate two bags of posho to some children’s home you have to crush the internet with hundreds of photos about the event, forget it.Its not about you, it’s about the children. Leave your camera at home for once-and give without expecting cheap fame from it.
No car no sweat
December is the month we realize that we won’t build that house we promised ourselves in January. Or buy that dream car. Life doesn’t always work our way. Get a way of giving yourself hope. If you didn’t build yourself a house, remember that Jesus was homeless, but we celebrate him to date as the Great Teacher. He never had a car too, and had to grab a donkey for his triumphal entry to Jerusalem (by the way, did they return that baying thing to its owner? I doubt) But his lack of mode of transport doesn’t make him less of a Jesus. Forget the rat race-and keep on walking.
If you can’t fix up a Christmas tree for your kids, get a faulty bulb that flickers and assume its Christmas lights. Can’t buy new dresses for your kids? Cover them with new shawls of love and kindness. Can’t go home to be with folks? Call them.
Live frugally on being given gifts so that if you don’t get any, you won’t be surprised. Some friends will turn up with the wrong gift too-like that high school buddy who brought me Cuban cigar several years after I had quit smoking (yes, I did but that’s another story) Another will turn up with rare fifty year old single malt whiskey just when you have resolved to quit the demon drink altogether.Dont trust friends. Trust only the gifts that you buy yourself.
Music of the birds
Take time to travel and appreciate how small and dystopic Nairobi is.Go down to the village and eat from mama’s smoky kitchen as you watch her chicken sing carols that go cluck cluck. Enjoy the music of the birds and you will realize that everyday has a song to it-if only we listen. Catch with your nostrils the aroma of roasting goat hooves wafting from your neighbours’ and you will realize that the smell of Christmas is the smell of childhood.
For a few days, sleep on that spring bed you’ve used since high school where you lost your innocence with some creaky symphony being the soundtrack. Rest your head on that old familiar pillow with the scent of you. In short, go back to yourself and come back a purged person, ready to face another year whose fortunes and failures we know not yet.
I said no clichés here so no signing of with happy holidays. From Drum Major team, have the holidays of your choice.
My new page administrator-Martin Charagu- tells me that we have to change the outlook of this page.Expect some swanky look here soon.