Nigerians work hard all year round, so it’s understandable if we go all out to enjoy ourselves when the year ends and it’s time to celebrate the Christmas holiday with family and friends.

However, there are some relaxation spots that are always ridiculously crowded on Christmas day every single year. It almost seems like there is a part of our constitution that makes it compulsory for us to go to these places annually.

A crowded Lagos beach

1. Beach: This is like the Holy Grail of holidaying in Nigeria. We love our beaches and they’re probably the most affordable relaxation spots most Nigerians can afford during this time of the year, which is why they’re always crowded during the festive season. In fact, on Christmas day, you can hardly find a spot to stand on when you get to any of the many beaches in Lagos, especially. The crowd may be less in private beaches, but the point is, there are way too many people visiting these spots. Can we be a bit more creative and locate other places to hang out on Christmas day?

2. Amusement parks: Amusement parks are not as many as the beaches, but they still draw a large number of people on Christmas day annually. Sadly, not many of them have new fixtures attached so it’s the same set of swings, roller-coasters and merry-go-round for everyone to ride on. The Apapa amusement park in Lagos is always a beehive of activities at Christmas, such that some families have to wait in line for several minutes to get on any of the fun rides at the venue. All that waiting around can really be a buzz kill, but that’s what you have to deal with if go to these crowded sites.

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3. Shopping malls: On any other day of the year, our malls are just malls, but on Christmas day, they’re not just places to shop. The malls are like tourist sites for taking pictures and pretending to shop. Some people even go there to buy just one item and then walk the length of the place posing for pictures on every single spot they can find. If you’re planning to genuinely shop for anything at the mall, don’t do it on Christmas day because you may have to squeeze your way in and out of the place. Yikes!

Haven said this, here are a few other alternatives you could consider exploring over the holiday:

1. See a stage play: There are typically several stage productions that happen this season. Find one that piques your interest and go see it with your friends and family.

2. Organise a come-chop: Christmas is a time when loved ones reconnect, and what better way to do this than at a get-together over food? Team up with your friends and/or family to host a get together where you can play games, share laughs and just reminisce over the year you've all had.

3. Help the less privileged: There's no greater reward in life than helping those in need. So while you're having all the fun, why not spread the good cheer to those who may not have the means to do same? The satisfaction you'll feel after doing this will leave you feeling good all through the holidays and beyond.