Xmas Down Memory Lane

Xmas period in Africa is notably hot, humid dense with heat a total contrast to cold wintry Xmas weather in European countries. Xmas day celebration unites every Christian community in different cultural settings. Let me share a critical review of Xmas; the build up to the celebration starting from Xmas eve with the arrival of guests-friends and family you’ve not seen for months, some haven’t spoken to or probably don’t talk to, the ones you can’t stand yet glad it’s only one day so will tolerate and endure the next 24 hrs!     

In England

Kids love all the presents. Adults exchange gifts with trepidation when wrong presents will soon be returned to the stores for refund or exchange. A time of the year when unwanted presents have been recycled round many times until it is dumbed in charity/goodwill shops. Marks & Spencer on my mind with the usual January refund long queue when a simple voucher or cash present would have saved all the time and trouble.

Ah! The big Xmas feast before the Queens speech. To avoid disastrous feast dinner plan and execute seating arrangement with military precision. A generous supply of alcohol drink should keep guests merry, chatty and tipsy. Hopefully, by 3-00pm prior to the Queen’s speech, a bit of calm and quiet will ensue ____except of course occasional rattling nasal noise irritating snores from certain individuals crashed on the settees oblivious drunk passed out pissed senseless! Turn up TV volume if you’re genuinely keen on Her Majesty annual Xmas speech or turn up more volume from the music stereo and get the party started!




Nigeria 'Father Xmas'

In Nigeria   

Visiting relatives arrive before or on Xmas eve. My relatives usually arrive days ahead before the festivity. Christian families Xmas day starts with church service in the morning followed by outdoor festivities-traditional carnival-like masquerades, depending on state and region.  Most of the celebrations take place outdoors unlike in the UK mostly celebrated indoors watching TV, playing games, more drinks, more food, dance and more dance until a fight kicks in! Moslems in Nigeria don’t really celebrate Xmas however everyone join in the festive spirit. Family and friends often exchange presents though most people prefer cash presents.

It is that time of the year town and city residents visit their home towns and villages usually once a year some might even ostentatiously display their wealth in branded goods, cars, I mean status affirming a way to compete with one another. Essentially, it is that special moment families meet elderly aging relatives in the village, celebrate Xmas joyously and prayerfully with Thanksgiving.          

My Xmas Favourite - Roast Lamb

My Childhood Memory Of Xmas

Was overwhelming excitement days before family shopping to UTC store, BATA Shoes, Leventis store along Marina, in Lagos. We then visited Father Xmas not santa claus as it is known in the UK and other Western countries.

Few weekends before we make the annual family trip from Lagos to the village, family outings  included Apapa Amusement Park to ride on carousels and all the hair raising sky high rides Lebanese recreational enterpreneurs brought to Nigeria in the 60s. I hated the rides but so enjoyed ice cream, cakes, fizzy drinks, hot dogs, lolippops and my favourites sweets and chocolatesWild!  My tongue red with lolippops stains Big Grin. I slept with my new pair of clarks, star-brites shoes by the bedside so my sisters don't swop just in case. A day before the journey we're all packed and ready for Xmas in the village. The excitement can kill I swear!

Please Share Your Xmas Story Here   

F A M I L Y Photo- My Handsome Dad now Late ( Left in Sunglasses)- Dad's Brother (Top Right in Black Suit) -Ambassador Etim Okpoyo (Former Nigerian Ambassador, Rome, Italy & Deputy Governor, Akwa Ibom State. Can U Recognise Me In The Photo? Official Family Xmas Photo. Sorry Can't Remember The Year. My Mum Surrounded by my aunties in mid row.

Those Eyes Still Can't Miss A Thing!