Welcome, December!

By Uche Amunike

This year really sped by like a roller coaster. December 2020 seems like it happened, just yesterday. It seems like it happened just a few months ago. Wasn’t it just the other day that I booked my ticket to Dubai for my Christmas 2020 holiday? What can I say? Time really does fly. Anyway it’s already December 2021 and the frenzy has begun. Families have started making a fuss about shopping for Christmas.

I know what you’re thinking. People say that things are so tough that they will not be a part of the Christmas frenzy this year. The truth is, no matter how tough things get, families must eat during the yuletide. Even if you decide not to travel down to Christmas for the Christmas holiday,  you will still have to eat in your home.

The children will want to have a good time and even the adolescents among them will really want to have a memorable Christmas holiday. So there’s nothing like completely avoiding spending during the yuletide season. I have always maintained that the important thing is for every family to set their priorities straight. A family that sets their priorities straight is a family that does not get lost in the frenzy of the yuletide.

I have always reminded parents that every January, school fees are paid for our children and most of the schools we have in this part of the world, demand that payment of such fees are done before bringing the children back to school.

Therefore if priorities are properly set, parents will ensure that adequate arrangements are made for their children who will be going back to school before other arrangements are made. I remember a certain year, about 5 years ago when my children were much younger.

I called them together and asked them to make a choice between us going for shopping to buy their clothes and shoes and all the nice things they need to rock Christmas and buying their provisions and their school needs, as well as payment of their school fees.

To my utmost shock, they told me, ‘mommy school needs first, biko’. Even though I laughed out loud when they unanimously agreed that they preferred me to buy the provisions and personal needs for school and  payment of school fees, I was glad that they had the kind of sense of responsibility I needed them to have, especially when one considers the Nigerian situation today.

So, we did their bidding by paying off all school fees before we went home for Christmas and provided their entire school needs, having them ready which made things much easier for us when we returned in January because we didn’t have to run helter-skelter trying to buy this and buy that. That is the essence of planning early and making our priorities top-notch.

Nigeria has turned into something else today though. Our young children do not want to suffer anymore. They want to make millions and trillions and skillions of money, live big and own the world. That is why there is a high rate of Yahoo Yahoo and Yahoo Plus. Who knows if there are other kinds of Yahoos I don’t even know about.

There is a high rate of ritual killings in our society today, most of them orchestrated by the youth in our society who want to get rich quick and join in the league of big boys. So many of them are asked to use their mothers or girlfriends or sisters for rituals in order to make quick money.

Unfortunately, we get to see them caught red-handed on social media either while trying to kill their victims or after they must have carried out the dastardly act and luck runs out on them. Either way, it seems like it is an anomaly that has come to stay.

What about the Bet Naija craze where our young children gamble their lives away, all in the search for quick money. Did I even say children? I heard that even men and women who have family like you and I, have been caught up with that habit and from my standpoint, they have become so deeply entrenched in that web that they might never be able to extricate themselves from it.

I guess the world has really gone bananas because the youths who are supposed to be scared of being seen in Bet Naija cribs  are now the ones playing bets side by side their fathers’ mates. The other day, I was in the hairdresser’s salon and a woman lamented painfully to her friend how her husband spent all his money on bet9ja. According to her, when his money is finished he begins to take her money to play bet9ja.

And whenever he asks her for money and she refuses to give him, he beats her black and blue and forcefully takes the money, leave the house for the bet9ja game and proudly brags that he will surprise her when he makes his millions from Bet9ja. This is why our society has refused to get better no matter how much we try. The reigning craze in town is Nkpulummili as it is called.

Our youths, both male and female have become so addicted that it might be impossible to stop them from being swallowed up by that menace. I see video clips of young men involved in taking this substance, being tied to trees and flogged mercilessly in order to deviate from that bad habit. Most of these young boys and girls have gone insane because of the effect of Mkpulummiri.

December is here and it is a period when we await the coming of Christ our Lord Jesus. I don’t know if we still understand the essence and reason of the season. We really need to go back to the drawing board and tell ourselves the truth, as that is the only thing that will set us free in our homes, in our communities, in our states and our country, Nigeria.

Parents have left the path of child rearing and have gone astray, which in turn has made our children forget their core foundation. This is Christmas you don’t have to drive a new car because it’s Christmas. You mustn’t wear new clothes because it’s Christmas.

We can celebrate Christmas together with our family happily amidst love and laughter.   It is so bad that so many families do not go to church together on Christmas Day. That’s because nobody truly remembers the real reason behind the season.

If a young man can kill an Innocent baby just because he wants to perform some rituals and join the League of Big boys to drive a new Benz, it leaves one wondering how come the much awaited messiah fits into the equation.

Christmas is a season of love. It is not a season of violence or robbery, killing or being greedy. It is not a season for doing all sorts of ungodly demeaning things, just to have money and acquire wealth to show off during the yuletide.

It is a time to soberly reflect on the past 11 months, thanking God for his Grace and gift of life these past months in spite of all odds. It is a time to make a pact with God and assure him that the remaining part of this year will be spend giving him glory while pleading with him to make us see the beginning of 2022.

Let it be like a covenant of sorts between us and God so that by the time we cross over in January, our mouths will be filled with praises of Thanksgiving to the one true God who knows His very own flock.

Life is short as you must have seen from the number of burials you have attended these past eleven months. God must have a reason for keeping you and I alive in spite of all the deaths around us every minute of the day. Let’s live the remaining of December happily, hopefully and joyfully as we await the coming of the Messiah. I wish you all a very happy December and a prosperous and a successful crossover to 2022. Welcome , December!!!