Truth be told, we all see Christmas differently, some as the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God, some as time to get together with family they haven’t seen for a while, some, time to buy that present for a loved one and some time to have a party, for some its even time to travel out of the country to finally spend some quality time with wife and children because even if they wanted to keep working, no one is at the other end to deal with all their work load.
I love Christmas for so many reasons, it reminds me of Jesus being born, his purpose all those years ago and his purpose in all our lives now. It’s a time of reflection, what has my life been like for the past 11 months plus. What difference have I made, if I died today, what will they say about me. It’s also a time for those wonderful Christmas food and decorations, my street would be lined, decorated with lights and all, you would almost think you were in a winter wonderland. The Christmas tree ESPECIALLY, with the anticipation of all the wonderful Christmas presents, trying to guess what each person got for you.
I remember growing up, my mum will make us save every penny we got in a piggy bank, then a week to Christmas we will break it open, my parents will double it and we were taken to the shops to buy gifts for one another. Every year, birthdays, Easter, Christmas, gifts were exchanged. My parents were insistent on teaching us to give and share. When going to visit someone you take a gift, when you are invited to a party you take a gift, for a wedding, birthday party you take a gift, we are the kind of family called gifters. I must confess it paid off and it stuck, when we were celebrating people fell heads over heels, to give us gifts, sometimes on rear occasions we actually regifted, gifts we got.
Now don’t get me wrong, we didn’t give to receive, we gave from the heart. Our parents also taught us, don’t expect anything in return and just give from the heart. One day my brother had an amount he considered very little and he was grumbling that how would he buy 2 gifts from this small money, my dad called us to sit down and said, never be pressurized to get into debt or stress yourself to buy something to please someone, it’s not the amount you buy the gift that counts, it’s the gesture of giving the gift that matters. Learn to appreciate one another.
This stayed with me, so many years later, I was introduced to a very wealthy and influential elder states man. He was so nice and accommodating, he was a Muslim cleric, a Mallam very well respected. An uncle took me there and asked me to wrap up, that my dress without a wrap would be a sign of disrespect. So I got one of my numerous scarfs I had been gifted and wrapped my head and body. We got there entered and were ushered into a plush living room. The elderly man came in and my uncle introduced me. I said my hellos and he looked at me and said my name, he then asked , “Are you a Muslim” I said “no Sir”, and he busted out laughing and asked why I was wrapped up, I smiled and said Uncle asked me too, he said come one, take it off, you don’t need to wrap yourself or cover with a wrap if you are not a muslim. After that he became my mentor and has been like an uncle to me. I recently got him a 3 in 1 printer from my travels because I overheard him saying he couldn’t print at hoe anymore cos the printer he got abroad and was so reliable had recently stopped working. He was so shocked he almost shed a tear, he said “Nobody gives me anything, they believe I don’t need it or can afford anything I want, yes I can, but I have always wished someone will care so much and just give me a gift”. He thanked me so much and I left. His reaction and the joy he felt that day, was priceless.
Sometimes we look at wealthy people and think, they don’t need anything, why should I give them a gift, they won’t appreciate it, I can’t afford their taste ,you will be surprised at how a card , something so insignificant could make such a different in one’s life. Am sure you’ve all heard the saying , ….it’s the thought that counts”.
In addition, I want us all to be a blessing this Christmas, let’s think of someone else besides ourselves and those close to us. Let’s help someone we wouldn’t normally think about this Christmas time buy or make something, anything, wrap it up and give it to them, someone not expecting anything from you. Someone down your street, a stranger, a neighbour, a friend, give a gift of food, love , a hug , a kind word. You would be surprised, how saying hello to someone in church whom you have never noticed before can make such a difference.
Let’s all try this Christmas to do something extraordinary, come back and give your testimonies and lets all thank God for one another.


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