Opinion: Let’s think about those who can’t have fun this Christmas

by Demola Rewaju

christmas

So while we eat the chicken and have fun, let’s spare a thought for the poor, those in prisons, in hospitals and those who can’t even smile at all this period. Let’s spare more than a thought in fact, let’s send a prayer to them and if we can, give gifts to those from whom we expect nothing in return.

I cannot really remember how Christmas was in my childhood days but I know from psychological analysis afterwards that the way Christmas was in one’s childhood largely determines how one approaches the season in later years. I recall always having new clothes every Christmas and New Year’s day and how my mother would have used a broomstick to measure our legs before the day to buy our shoes which were usually bigger than our feet because we were fast growing and the shoes had to last the entire coming year. I remember dressing up in eager anticipation of Cousin Segun who would always promise to take us out but always managed to break his promise.

In teenage years, a pattern had emerged: my mum would invariably be away attending a Christmas retreat somewhere and my younger sister (Mrs Shade Adeosun) would firmly be in charge of the kitchen. We the children would eat breakfast before heading to church for the Christmas service and listen to the usual Christmas story only to come home hungry. My father rarely ate breakfast before church so he would have brunch when we returned around 1pm then observe his siesta. Shade would then go into the kitchen for the next four hours cooking two types of rice – jollof and fried, frying meats and making salad or coleslaw; all in large quantities so we could give the maiguards in our area a part of meal.

Shortly, it would become very difficult for us to concentrate on the NTA Christmas movie because of hunger and my sweet lil sister would take her sweet time cooking while my father whom we could report to would be sleeping. I can remember the stomach saviour – garri – coming to our rescue.

I see Christmas as a time of sharing and appreciation. Our house was usually decorated with lights, cards and decorations. Hampers would be everywhere and soft drinks always in the fridge at this period. Christmas is a time to look forward to because of these memories.

But how about those who never had all these? How about those for whom Christmas means looking through the window at their more fortunate neighbours as they eat and merry? What if those who eat and merry never remember the less fortunate and share with them?

Do they really know it’s Christmas? Do they understand like anyone reading this probably does that this is a season of love and joy all across the world? The level of poverty across our land and the continent is depressing – do the rural kids ever get the traditional Christmas cloth we used to get talkless of one for the 25th and another for the New Year? Do parents still buy new cloths for such children or they depend on the good old second hand clothing?

It’s tough to think about that some have never experienced the abundant love that permeated our own childhood in those days.
So while we eat the chicken and have fun, let’s spare a thought for the poor, those in prisons, in hospitals and those who can’t even smile at all this period. Let’s spare more than a thought in fact, let’s send a prayer to them and if we can, give gifts to those from whom we expect nothing in return.

I wish everyone reading this a great period of celebration and fun: Merry Christmas and happy entrance into the New Year.

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This piece is re-published with permission

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

 

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