Christmas has a new meaning for Opeyemi and she shares it with us in her entry. We absolutely love it.
I deliberately decided to look the other way when I first saw the Sparkle Writers’ Hub Christmas Campaign sometime on Instagram particularly because it piqued me to want to answer and well, for me, there was not much to talk about. I kept telling myself, “Just look the other way, Opeyemi. Form – Not – Seeing.” But I couldn’t rid myself of the spark it’d ignited and WordPress and Instagram just never failed to deliver how beautiful folks perceive Christmas, so I am giving in.
The thing is, I wasn’t afraid because I’ve got nothing to say about Christmas – no – it is because the things I’d really like to say about Christmas were never real to me until much later. I’d like to talk about the celebration, the candles and the Christmas songs, the awesome carols, new outfits, hairstyles…movies to see and places to visit. I’d like to talk about the peace that Christmas brings, and the hope of seeing a brand new year pretty soon.
The joy of Christmas was the joy of a new dress and plenty of chicken and my usual Christmas hairstyle – Shabba. Christmas was like any other day that is in between school holidays save for new chicken, outfits and Shabba.
My first perception of Christmas is simple: schools are closed for the year and mother buys two new clothes for us children. I always got a dress, a pair of trousers – knickerbocker pants or crazy jeans – and a top (and a jacket sometimes) to go with it. I remember the dress my mother bought for Christmas the year I turned seven. It was baby pink, with lilac gathers; was blown from waist down like Cinderella’s. Oh, that dress! It fitted just fine. I loved to tie my belt the butterfly style.
We children stayed at home on Christmas and neighbours bring interesting delicacies. You can’t blame us though, we just didn’t regard Christmas in our Muslim home. My parents always had the maids watch over us because they didn’t want us to have friends. What they didn’t know was that the moment they were gone, we all disappeared and returned early enough for them to meet us at home. What could I have done? I had to flaunt my new dress to my friends in the neighbourhood. If mother returned early, I’d be taken to a photo shop just opposite my street to take a shot or two. Then we go to the beach the next day.
As we grew older, the clothes and my beautiful Shabba stopped but the good old chicken tradition never did. But I got to understand Christmas a lot better. Now I know the reason behind all the beautiful things I wanted to talk about. And that’s why I appreciate Christmas more than ever.
Christmas is more than the vacations, lights, songs, new dresses and Shabba. It is a season of life where we can all find light.
Merry Christmas in advance.
Opeyemi Oduyemi is the founder of Hopyrane. She works as a Contact Centre Teamlead at Contact Solutions Limited, Ilupeju, Lagos. She is inspired to gear creative people towards perfection and sharpen their works through words.