When We Spread Christmas Cheer

Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe writes on Christmas and why it means so much to many people.

Christmas isn’t about a day but about a season when all becomes magically well with the world / Photo credit: don'twasteyourmoney.com
Christmas isn’t about a day but about a season when all becomes magically well with the world / Photo credit: don'twasteyourmoney.com

Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Til He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angel voices…

Oh Holy Night by Celine Dion

When you live in a country like Nigeria, it’s could be so easy to forget it’s Christmas.

It’s easy to forget the beauty and joy this season brings and wallow in the endless discomfort and misery this country tends to inflict on its very own.

For instance how can you still think of Christmas when you have just watched an extremely disturbing video of a mother flinging open the door of her car only to lift her house help (a minor) into the air and throw her down hard on the road?

You see, such videos remind you of the many self-inflicted horrors that have, at different times, left Nigeria with a big yawning hole where our humanity should have had the pride of place.

It’s good to know that the Enugu State Police Command has caught up with her and taken the girl away, even as she blames the devil for her own brand of wickedness.

But that’s a story for another time.

It becomes even easier to not remember it’s Christmas if you were Agba Jalingo, his wife, children or parents at this time. How would you still remember knowing he’s spending this period of goodwill in Governor Ben Ayade’s jail on trumped-up treason charges?

Forget the ongoing unnecessary back and forth about the actual date of Christ’s birth and how Christmas Day is not really Christmas Day, Christmas isn’t about a day but about a season when all becomes magically well with the world

But the spirit of Christmas trumps all in the end.

This is because for everyone who believes in Jesus Christ, the Son God, Christmas is ever the magical gift that keeps giving. When you know of His true mission of salvation and the sacrifice of descending from His height so that man could live, the magic of Christmas will be ever renewed for you.

Forget the ongoing unnecessary back and forth about the actual date of Christ’s birth and how Christmas Day is not really Christmas Day, Christmas isn’t about a day but about a season when all becomes magically well with the world.

It is a season when no matter how broken you’ve become over the preceding months there is this hope that the joy and boundless light Christmas brought to the world wouldn’t bypass your doorstep as it spreads.

Christmas is that season when we all give, and not necessarily because we have abundance or overflow but perhaps because we have always sensed that the gift of Christmas is the ultimate gift of all and therefore, can’t help but strive to give even if it’s just a little of ourselves to others, at every Christmas celebration.

That’s why even as we recount many of the things that may be wrong with us, we remember that it’s Christmas after all, and count our blessings and gifts of this wonderful season.

And it’s those little acts of blessings, the ones we share among ourselves just because it’s Christmas that matter in the long run because they strengthen both the giver and receiver, and ultimately restore our waning hope and faith in our humanity.

That really is one of the crucial gains of the Christmas season.

Like the unnamed husband and father who was brave enough to approach Editor-in-Chief at Women of Rubies, Esther Ijewere’s Facebook inbox to beg for cooking oil.

According to the man, his boss couldn’t pay his staff salary before Christmas but shared a half bag of rice among them. Unfortunately there was no oil to cook and he didn’t have money to buy.

Esther Ijewere shared the man’s request on her wall and within 24 hours several Nigerians had pitched in and the cooking oil fund had about N71,000 in it.

Whether it’s in the case of the cooking oil man, the radio station or the many ordinary Nigerians who willingly turned their social media pages into gift exchange platforms so they could spread the cheer or even those who reached out to the widow living next door, the message of Christmas is clear; it’s love uber alles!

Not sure now what the final tally was but that man’s belief, and also hope in the spirit of Christmas and our collective humanity must have received a boost a thousand words of preaching may never achieve in a thousand years.

Or it could be the a radio station riding on back of several Nigerians’ generosity, dispensing cash gifts on Christmas eve, so those who would have gone without could have a little taste of the many gifts of Christmas.

I listened to the radio station and heard how neighbours and colleagues were calling to solicit for a token from the donated fund, not for themselves, but for others whom they’re convinced needed the freebies more.

I saw how Nigerians rose up to the occasion and spread love and light even in the midst of the darkness that seems to have taken over the land.

But I wasn’t surprised because that’s just what Christmas is and should always be about.

Whether it’s in the case of the cooking oil man, the radio station or the many ordinary Nigerians who willingly turned their social media pages into gift exchange platforms so they could spread the cheer or even those who reached out to the widow living next door, the message of Christmas is clear; it’s love uber alles!

May love which came down at Christmas be our token to humanity at all times!

Written by Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe

Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe is the Editor of The Interview Abuja, has worked as a journalist in Punch Nigeria Nigeria Limited and also LEADERSHIP Newspapers where she rose to become the Editorial Director.

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