5 Reasons Nigerians Love Christmas
How many Nigerians can really sing the Jingle Bell Christmas song?
Our #IJGB brothers and sisters take the lead when the tune comes up on radios, the rest of us settle for the first two lines.
But there is usually this buzz in the air on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. We love the holidays, we love our people, we love the traffic free roads.
Here are 5 reasons Nigerians are elated when Christmas comes calling.
1. Nigerian Jollof
Yes. I know we talk about family and love being the focus of the season but trust me it's sometimes underrated here.
Those people, who will come to your house, will arrive with empty stomachs and warmers to eat in and take away.
The number one staple - rice - will be on endless display in homes, parties, events and churches. There is really no Christmas without the steaming, spicy jollof.
No matter how upset you are about the dry heat (supposing your car AC isn't working); the stress of driving in the crazy endless traffic, the hassles to find a spot to park, the children crying all around like their mothers absconded; the sitting position in the commercial bus are enough to tick you off.
But once the plate of jollof rice gets within your grasp - all the sorrows pass away and all things become new.
2. Christmas Clothes
There is no Naija party without looking dapper. We know how to dress across Nigeria.
Regardless of the dress code for the occasion, Nigerians won't disappoint you. We arrive looking more glam than the celebrant.
In our kaftans and caps; gele and flowing wrappers; Nigerians know how to look classy.
Christmas is the season we save the best for the last. The walk to early morning mass would see several ladies in high heels, pretty dresses and British hats.
Tailors make a killing this period sowing chut, para-chut, jacket and suits (of course it all depends on which you can afford).
We love looking good especially in this era of selfies and updates for Whatsapp status.
Ex lovers will be the obvious target to show that we have moved on while endless love and hate messages will be encoded and decoded as broadcasts.
3. Christmas 'Sales' Rush
Unfortunately, the meaning of SALES across the world does not apply in Nigeria.
Sales in the Nigerian context does not refer to huge discount on luxury items or daily consumables. It simply means there would a surge in demand while supply will remain tightly manipulated.
Trade associations at Lapido, Balogun, Yaba and other markets in Lagos will see millions of people rushing in to do impulsive buying.
Being a country where the government still employs most of the work force and where salaries are paid simultaneously, the traders would rather agree to price hikes than compete.
So, if you are heading to any market on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day; you will surely meet a stubborn bunch of traders who will fix the price of their items and refuse to negotiate beyond the agreed limit.
The destructive rains and flood waters make their final rounds in November. The scorching heat of the sun is also taking a bow for the year as a blanket of haze hovers over our heads limiting the impact of climate change.
The mornings are cooler, the afternoon is dustier but the sun stops piercing its fangs into our marrows.
We are happy with the harmattan. It's the closest we come to snow all year round and we are glad there are no Tsunamis or Hurricanes.
During this period, Nigerians are less dependent on the failing power system and more babies sleep peacefully without the irritating heat rash that has plagued them from April to November.
Also taking the back seat is the anopheles mosquito. Less stagnant water means less eggs, less mating, less bites and less herbs consumed by ailing children (don't deceive yourself, most Nigerians do not go to hospital to treat malaria).
5. City People Go Home
The hustle in commercial centres are real. Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano and Abuja are homes to the Nigerian hustlers - people who have no particular skill or training but are willing to engage in all legitimate business to earn income.
These people usually between the ages of 15 and 38 are the blood stream on which businesses run.
Educated or not they barely allow anyone or any situation limit their optimism for a better tomorrow - 'e go beta' is the slogan.
Their sojourn in mega cities often take a pause for Christmas.
The travelling across the country will reach an all time high with thousands of families waiting eagerly to receive the real breadwinners.
Families will huddle around at night and share tales of their experiences in big cities. Rural dwellers are often amazed wondering when they too would have a shot at greatness.
Nigerians love Christmas, it always brings hope of a new beginning in the new year. Even though nothing really changes.