Tales of Christmas feast and the spending traps

Tales of Christmas feast and the spending traps

With just a few days remaining to Christmas eve, celebrants are already planning, banging their calculators having in mind that they have to eat and give out presents.

 Many economies are rising from the ruins of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, having endured a tough festivity in 2020 characterised by social distancing lockdown; perhaps, it is time to make amends.

For those who have to endure the impacts of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 blues and the protracted inter-communal violence, December 25 will just be like another day.  

This is because of the associated unquenchable expenses that come with it.

“The day comes with a lot of challenges,” says Wani John.

 “Children need new clothes, shoes, and special food which is not easy. If you don’t have enough money; it becomes very challenging.”

John, 45, a father of five says Christmas stresses him more than any other festive season. He points out that everything becomes expensive when the day approaches, making it challenging to meet the demand of the family members.

Prices shoot

“Everyone wants to put on new things, and if there’s no money to buy, they won’t understand, especially children and nothing is cheap when that time comes,” said John.

Christmas is celebrated on December 25 every year by Christians— predominantly Roman Catholics and some protestants—to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. On that day, Christians offer presents to their loved ones, friends, family members.

However, for John, there is a special way of overcoming challenges associated with Christmas which ensures that all his family members satisfy their needs before December 25.

“Before I used to have problems meeting my children’s needs for Christmas. I used to wait when it reaches December, then I [would go] to the market to buy clothes and shoes for my children and their mother, which sometimes I found [to be] challenging.”

“By December, everything becomes expensive. So, I now make sure that whenever I get the money I buy clothes for one or two people and keep…when I get another money, I do the same until I buy clothes for all the children,” John says.

John, who does causal work says the money he earns in December would be used solely for stocking foodstuff and drinking for the visitors such as relatives and friends.

For Josephine Poni, 32, the head of the family should ensure all the family members meet their needs for December 25. She says husbands should ensure the provision of makeup for their wives.

Poni believes that during festivities, the presence of men who play the primary role of providing for their families should be felt. No excuse.

“If men fail to provide what their wives and children want for Christmas, it becomes, sometimes a problem.

“But, some women don’t care what they want is that their children’s needs are met because Christmas is for children. They have to dress well like others,” says Poni.

“I want to tell women who cause the problem because of Christmas gift that Christmas is for children. We should not [talk about] my clothes, shoes or makeup. All these cannot save us what can save is our faith and belief,” she added.

While some people spend time singing their hearts out in the churches and most of their time there, there is another group that invests similar opportunity is revelling.

Others view December 25 as an opportunity for visitations characterised by drinks and feasting with friends and relatives especially those missed during the year.

“People should not stress up with Christmas. It is a normal [day] like any other. We know that traders overcharge goods when [Christmas] approaches, starting from November on words. For me what I have resorted to is to join a group of friends or relatives and we drink and dance and the day is gone,” says Solomon Isaac.

Issac, 34, says he has taught his three children to disregard demands for new shoes or cloth, but to thank God and be contented with the little they have.

“[If] I have money, I buy for them anything they want. It is [not] a must to buy a new cloth or a pair of shoes specifically for Christmas. After I taught them, they don’t demand anything from me for Christmas.’’

He adds: “Many people have been making mistakes, spending all the money and after they have gone, they will have no money for even feeding, especially in January.”

According to Cecilia Peter, 31, spending money on Christmas was a wastage and should be reserved especially at the moment the country experiences an economic crisis. Cecilia believes this is the time to make a kill and save for the economic pinch that comes the way in January.

“Christmas festive is the time for making money for those who are wise. People spend a lot of money between November and December.

“Some people care only for their bodies but they don’t care for their souls. News clothes are nothing it does not mean that God accepts people because of dressing well. It is our faith in God,” she says.

 “I can’t give him (spouse) pressure for Christmas gift. What people are after is food because getting money is not easy and everything is expensive. Children will understand the situation because they know that they will get what they want another time.’’