The year 2020 is one that has tasked everyone and pushed us to find our inner strength just to survive; economically, health wise and in all spheres. Indeed, the greatest achievement anyone can point at this year is survival. But in spite of the challenges, it is also a year that has taught us all a great lesson.
Many of us have learnt that all the things that we place priority on can be done without. Indeed, it has placed a great distinction between wants and needs. We can actually do meetings without converging, celebrate weddings, burial etc without the usual crowd and the big debt profile many acquire to feed guests.
Many got married during the pandemic lockdown and the ceremonies were beautiful even without the crowd. No one or few people would have embraced this before the emergence of COVID.
But the truth is many, especially women, still missed out on these lessons; immediately the lockdown was relaxed, they jumped straight into their owambe lives; parties every weekend, expensive aso-ebi and headgear, gold accessories to prove to people that really don’t care that they are still ahead of their game.
And as Christmas draws near, they are already running around, wracking their brain on how to have a blast and hold the best Christmas celebration in their hood; to them, a low profile celebration is a sign that they are not doing well and fortune has changed for them. Well, it is not news that every individual has been affected by the unexpected situation in the year 2020.
News flash; no one really cares, they will eat your pepper soup, sun and spicy rice, then go home and forget because they have many important things to think about than your expensive Christmas jig. Indeed, many who know how things are in your place of work will get home and call you foolish.
Really, we need to do better as women and stop focusing on frivolities. Christmas has a deeper meaning than your new clothes and sumptuous meals, what really has the birth of Christ done in your life? Remember it is the birthday of Jesus, not yours, meaning you can wear the last womb cloth, no church turns people back for wearing old clothes on Xmas day. Is it your mission to dress more than the celebrant because the state of your mind is what matters to him, not your beautiful apparel?
Remember that Christmas and new year are all a week’s celebration but January is a long one; 31 days to be precise within which school fees will be paid, new shoes and bags may need to be bought, some children have grown taller than their shorts and skirts and they need replacement. Schools are not doing friendship again because they also have teachers to pay and many other bills to settle. Is one day of enjoyment worth weeks of financial burden?
Tradition is subject to change like every other thing, if it is your culture to feed a whole street, changing your tradition and feeding people in your compound alone will in no way detract from the reason for the season. It is time to stop traditions that leave us broke, overwhelmed and financially handicapped after festivities.
If a tradition is not serving us or enhancing our enjoyment of the season and gives us headache after, it is not worth it. That is, it is time to do away with traditions that leave us broke, stressed and makes us feel like failures in the aftermath of celebrations.
If you cannot give out gifts, spend time with friends and family to show them love. Use what you have; don’t splurge on what you cannot afford to create an illusion. Stop feeling pressured to spend more than you can afford.
Just because everyone is rushing out to shop doesn’t mean you need to; that some of your friends are going into debt to finance their holiday, doesn’t mean you need to. You can choose to celebrate within your means and welcome 2021 without unnecessary burden and strain.
A peaceful mind though underrated has no endearing alternative. Don’t join the bandwagon to do things because our situations are different. That your neighbors are stockpiling Christmas resents for their children should not sent you to borrow money to do same, instead, spend more time with your kids, make the season memorable, get to know them and you will be at peace. They will enjoy it too.
That you have a tradition for Christmas celebrations doesn’t mean the expectations can never change. The important thing is to remember the reason for the season. It is time to take stock, reassess that tradition and decide on what will give you peace.
Don’t go bankrupt, there are many more celebrations, you need peace and good health. Get your joy in what matters.
Merry Christmas in advance
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