‘Tis the season to be merry

With Christmas just around the corner, we are all in a mad dash to run through the chores on our to do list before the weekend’s end. There are presents still to be bought, festive food to be cooked, whether it is turkey roast or good old Naija jollof and fried dodo in your house, perhaps the compulsory trip to the village you’re making the final preparation for, or countless Christmas and New Year’s bashes in town, and of course there is the midnight mass and Christmas day service.

Christmas is often a time of chaos as it is a season of joy. So much so in all the chaos, it is often easy to lose the sense of merriment. Add to the this the once-a-year get-together of your extended family, some members of which can only be tolerated in very small doses, mirth can easily turn into annoyance.

This weekend, do the improbable, take a minute, compose yourself and have a think of how you will chaos-proof your Christmas in a few easy steps so you can come out the other end a much stronger and more gracious person.

Take your food and your relatives with a pinch of salt
The Aunty who without fails asks every year if you’ve added weight again, or hints at how time is passing and at the grand old age of 25, without a boyfriend, you’re passing your sell-by date? The distant cousin who went to London for a year and came back faking the phoné? The uncle who gets a bit touchy feely after a few glasses? Take them all with a pinch of salt. The chances are you’re not likely to see them till this time next year. As for next Christmas? Plan ahead your vacation in a place far far away.

Make your swift exit
Unless you’re unfortunate enough to still live under your parent’s roof, you can always plan strategically to make a swift exit. The easiest way to avoid Christmas merriment turning into Christmas mess is leave them – and yourself – wanting more. Get in there early, stay for lunch, give your gifts and make your excuses soon after.

Get some presents and some spares
Speaking of gifts, nothing brings more cheer than a well thought out gift. Make sure you have got a present, however small or big, for all those that matter. Also have a couple of back-up so you can avoid any potential awkwardness should the distant cousin with fake phoné happens to have got you a gift that might catch you unaware.

Quit hypocrisy for one day if you may
It’s one thing to go to church with wife and kids every Sunday after chasing babes every Saturday; it’s quite another thing to attend midnight mass at 12 midnight and hitting the club with a babe that’s not your wife on your arm at 1am. One way to make sure you’re struck of Santa’s list for the foreseeable future. If you can, just for a day, quit the hypocrisy. Better yet, why not quit for good and commit your life back to Christ?

Don’t fret over the invite to the must-attend party of the year
We know Naija party scene is often a case of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ and who gets featured on tomorrow’s blogs and next week’s Guardian Life, but this is not the reason for the season. Don’t fret over the party you cannot attend with glad rags on to rub shoulders with the who’s who of Nigeria. Instead, plan an evening out with the family or a night in with marathon run of Christmas movies.

Remember the reason for the season
Of course, last but not the least, remember the reason for the season. It is easy to forget amid the maddening mayhem that is the festive season, complete with gifts, feasts and must-attend parties. The easiest way to find some peace of mind is to put Christ back into Christmas. After all there is no better time for reflection than the most wonderful time of the year.

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