OPINION] Epistles of Anthony Kila A Christmas Message: Consume Don’t Be Consumed – Anthony Kila

Sunday, 24 December 2023 07:12

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[OPINION] Epistles of Anthony Kila A Christmas Message: Consume Don’t Be Consumed - Anthony Kila

Early this year, we had a Christmas dinner around the second week of April in Wales. It was great fun we saved for it and we sang Christmas song in Welsh, Italian and Yoruba. I also insisted they played Victor Uwaifo’s Joromi and it was great fun. 2023 is a tough year for most in many ways, to make 2024 better let us start by consuming but not being consumed

Dear Readers

Yes, we have made it to that time of the year again when we start to wish ourselves Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, or Seasons Greetings as the savvier and more politically correct ones teach us to say in the name of diversity, inclusivity and sensibility. To each its own…

If you live in the west of the world or in the south of Nigeria, it will be very difficult for you to miss the Christmas season. The lights will enlighten you it is Christmas, the music will remind you, the rush for food, drinks and gifts will remind you and people will tell you it is Christmas. Lately, I even noticed a house with a couple of rams like we do for sallah.

I have observed that even in places like Dubai, that is neither the west of the world nor the south of Nigeria but with the ambition of being the centre of the world even has a variety of events that will give the most of Christian towns and cities of the world a run for their money. In Dubai, because of their ambition and clear progressive mindset geared towards prosperity they have Christmas markets and Christmas shows their Father Christmas even seem healthier and taller to me on the average compared to some Santa I have seen in other places.

Depending on the church you attend, the conventional Christmas message (as practiced in the Catholic, Anglican and Methodist Churches) is generally one that calls for reflection and links the birth of Jesus Christ to the salvation of humanity of all races and social conditions and of course with the proviso that those that want salvation accept Jesu Christ as their lord and saviour and lead a life similar to the one that Jesus Christ himself lived whilst on earth. Such life is normally depicted as gentle, humble, sober and disciplined.

Even as a boy growing up in the days of collar wearing trained clerics and before the advent of sequin blazer wearing, private jet flying, body guard protected, celebrity pastors that put their names and faces on posters while leaving out that of Jesus in the name of whom they claim to speak and act, I have always had my doubt about how Christian like many church leaders are. You can imagine my chagrin now as man in the era of divine calling wherein many of those that deliver sermons come with width but lack the depth of theology and history. Let us keep going and doing as we deem fit and proper; God will have so many cases to judge…

There is another institutional message we must not leave out from the list of messages that come with the Christmas season, it is the ones from politicians and public office holders. These messages are normally a balloon of platitudes like the last one the former President Muhammadu Buhari gave the country last year before he left for Daura.

Hear him: “I heartily rejoice with our Christian brothers and sisters on the occasion of this years Christmas. Many of us look forward to this festive season as a time to travel, share gifts, spend quality time with family and friends, attend special carols and events, and generally relive the good moments of the year.

In whatever circumstances we find ourselves, Christmas is a period when we come together to rejoice and set aside our differences… We must never lose sight of the symbiotic relationship between Christmas and hope; Jesus Christ and humility, Christianity and grace…”

Quality of prose aside, do politicians truly believe that there are sane people out there waiting to hear and reflect on their Christmas messages? Politicians must really think the world is those they see around them and they are very loved and respected by the people. They probably know what we don’t know…

Why not? Let me add my own personal message this Christmas of 2023. My personal message this year is strictly for mature minds or at least adults and it is to remind all of us not believe the hype. My personal message is that yes, above all and generally speaking, Christmas is about consumption and merriment, please enjoy yourself as much as you can, if you can. Eat as much as possible, drink if you are a drinker, try new drinks and food, listen to music you like, good or bad it matters little, dance, sing even if you have a bad voice nothing will happen.

Deliberately commit to not feeling bad. There is a proviso to all these though: You are to consume but not to be consumed. Stay away from unnecessary sacrifices. Don’t beg or borrow for Christmas expenses, it is not worth it. Use what you have, let it suffice. You don’t have to buy new clothes, if you cant afford them, wear what you have, don’t use your children as your excuse they will be fine with good neat old clothes. What children need is company not luxury or exuberance, sing with them, draw, read and paint with them.

As for gifts for lovers, friends and family, give if you can afford then give a lot, if you cannot then don’t stress yourself and don’t feel bad let alone sad. Send them prayers and poetry. Let them know you care for them forever but this is a peculiar year. A loan for Christmas is preposterous and deleterious, one should celebrate from abundance so save for next time.

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