I’m still on the lookout for Harmattan, the dust and haze it brings in its wake as well as the softening it seems to bring to herald the Yuletide. This year it’s certainly taking longer and with the rains still in force it seems like a long thing. Maybe sometime in January the ‘dry’ season will feature somewhat briefly to ensure that the dual season remains a fact in this part of the world. Whatever the outcome, the days of 2013 inevitably draw to a close.
The more common and visible signs of Christmas are already evident on various buildings in the metropolis. Many households have their Christmas lights, decorations and tree up too as a sign of the festive period. In time past the more common decoration for buildings were drapes of green and red with wreaths prominently hanging. Some organisations had a few lights, sans drapes and the decorations made everything appear more festive.
Fast forward a few years and Lagos is ablaze with lights! Driving around the city at night is a feast for the eyes. Everywhere takes on a softer hue and the ‘peace to all men’ seems more attainable in the lights. The otherwise dark streets are lit up and remind everyone of the holidays. Retail therapy for gifts, foodstuffs and more is also in the offing as are travel plans.
The usual hustle and bustle is not too pronounced yet, but a foray into the heart of Lagos Island will demonstrate how deceptive this ‘quiet’ activity found on the streets of Victoria Island really is. Commercial activities of every shape as well as goods purchased remind that the Yuletide’s closer than ever. For those supply hampers of various categories this is the time. Events like end of year parties, Christmas gatherings and more also have a field day.
Finding the ‘Christmas’ clothes and other gifts for the children is another chore for parents this season. I’m not sure how cards fare nowadays but there was a time that exchanging them was an entrenched tradition. Carol service, hymns and family gathering are also essential for this time of year. As the saying goes, tis the season to be jolly!
Despite everything that might have happened earlier in the year, this is the season of gratitude and thanksgiving by many. For the gift of life, protection, provision and growth we remember to give thanks. Being spared and having hope rekindled time and again is the essence of Christmas. I believe this is the magic most people see in this period.
To be alive and well and able to celebrate with family and friends is a thrill for most people at this time of year. You might not appreciate or hold to the tenets of the Christian faith but the gift of family and life is a common thread for everyone. Added to the fact that holiday (of sorts) from work is another attraction for this time of the year. Spending time with loved ones makes everything worthwhile and reminds one of the reasons for doing what we do daily.
So now that we’re in the season of giving, let’s take out time to recall the things that really matter. This is the time for merriment, stock taking and remembering that the things that truly matter are more tangible and in the form of loved ones and the relationships we hold dear. People matter and how we treat them matters more than ever. Love is crucial and this is the period to show just how we love to family, friends and even strangers.
Compliments of the season!