It seems so many of our readers enjoy village Christmas. Emmanuel Ibezimakor didn’t just write about Christmas in the village, he literally took us to his all-expense paid, unrestricted swimming in fresh, free-flowing, better-than-a-swimming-pool spring water. We hope you love this entry!
I’ve spent Christmas for the past 12 years in my village (I call it ‘the villa’). It has been the norm for 12 years now, yet I look forward to it eagerly as though it is my first time in 12 years. Spending Christmas in the villa is the best treat I could ask for and I must acknowledge that it has modified, if not forged my understanding of what Christmas is.
I’d have little problem writing about what Christmas “should” be, how it “should” be spent and how not to. But this article is about Christmas as I understand it and have experienced. This is quite hard because, like most people, I’d just “spend” my Christmas – I’ve experienced slightly over two decades of Christmases in my lifetime – but haven’t given it that much of a thought.
To make it easier for me, permit me to stir the good waters of my heart as I go down memory lane and bring to you, in brief, tales of unforgettable treats from the villa.
Christmas in the Vila is always a big family reunion. There’s no other time in the year to have most or all of my uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and all close, distant and very-very distant relative all in the same place and at the same time. I feel this is the best thing about Christmas because it affords me the privilege of having more than one home. I could decide to sleep over in my paternal granny’s ‘hub’ one night and then proceed to my maternal granny’s the next night. I could even choose between the mansions of my uncles. Good thing is, I’m always welcome in all of these homes.
Christmas is fun in a lot of ways. Christmas is the session for some all-expenses-paid, unrestricted swimming in fresh, free-flowing, better-than-a-swimming-pool spring water. I don’t ever feel I missed out on anything when some of my friends tell me they had gone to a swimming pool during the holiday. What I have in the Villa is more than any swimming pool anywhere. It’s even better because I don’t have to pay a Kobo for using the pool nor do I have to worry about the embracement of stewards reminding me “your time is up”. Last year’s Christmas, I met a lady and we went to the pool together. It was more of a romantic date. A remarkable one.
Christmas is a season when I get back to my roots (or at least, closer to it). Haven grown up far away from my hometown, I was neither exposed to nor conversant with the Igbo culture and traditions. Like every other person, I read about them in Chinua Achebe’s novels and numerous Nollywood movies. Because I spend Christmas in the villa, I get to finally attend family meetings at the OBI, I get to learn about market days, marriage rites, traditional dishes and I also get to see masquerade parades. I usually don’t enjoy the masquerades side of the story because they hold long canes with which they flog people who refuse to give them money. Aside that, I love masquerades.
Christmas is about Jesus Christ (why did I make this my last point?). Really, Jesus is the reason for the season. Christmas is about how “God became one of us so we could become one with Him” (Quote by @MaxLucado). If we leave the celebrant (Jesus) out of the celebration in our homes and in our hearts, then of the celebration (of Christmas) is pointless.
Christmas is fun. It is the best holiday. Christmas is a time to show love and to be loved, to give and be given, to meet new people and be met by people, to eat and be merry, to spend time with family and friends (hopefully uninterrupted by work and stuff) and most importantly, it is a time to center the eternal love of God that has wrought salvation.
Emmanuel Ibezimakor (Zimackos) is a freelance, multi-faceted writer and song-composer. A few of his fictional stories are featured on his blog. He is single, a Jesus-freak, motivated and goal-driven. He dreams of owning the most successful alternative record label in the country, become a renowned blogger a husband and a father of two.