While thinking last night on what articles should be on the site today, the subject of Christmas and growing up crossed my mind. This article is obviously a random one and I will be writing as events cross my mind.
Christmas as a growing child; it was fun, fun, and fun. As a growing child, I lived in a compound (what is called a public yard in Nigeria), just like most Nigerian kids.
A yard comprises of several houses within a fenced or unfenced wall, usually owned by the same person. In our own case, it was fenced and we had five to six other families living in the same compound.
My parents weren't wealthy and that made Christmas even more of an exciting period.
Before I continue, let me deviate to rich kids. From are far, we watched rich kids from afar. They had toys and games (Sega, PlayStation 1 and 2). They obviously go shopping and they entertain visitor. Etc.
As an average kid growing up Christmas started with the cool harmattan breeze and dry lips. I believed and still believe that injuries sustained during this period hardly heal. Hence, I had to be very careful when I play. After blowing of harmattan breeze comes vacation of schools and then anticipation for the D-day.
In anticipation I waited for Christmas rice, Christmas chicken, and above all, Christmas cloth.
Every parent knew that without the Christmas cloth there was no Christmas for your child and some had to borrow money to provide. God bless our parents.
The eve of Christmas was troublesome. I rolled from one edge of my small form to another. I dreamt about Christmas and most often I wake up several times in the night. "Kukuruku" the cork crowed; yes it is Christmas day and I was out to show them what I had.
Rice had three options; white, fried, or jollof
Chicken had two options; ordinary or fried.
The joy that follows plucking the feathers of the chicken if mum both a live one was immeasurable. Yes we've been eating rice but Christmas rice is special. As growing boys, we watched mum do all the cooking.
"Food don don, oya make una come chop", mum calls. We eat, and it is off we go, I and my friends.
Christmas as a child meant going house to house and expecting money. We preferred money to your food.
What else went with Christmas? Eh-mm, knock-outs (bangers) were also the order of the day. I wasn't really into that as dad will beat the living day-light out of you if you are caught.
As I write this article, some kids came knocking. Sometimes I wish I didn't grow up. To every Nigerian kid out there and to my readers, Merry Christmas and a happy new year in advance.