Christmas in the Eighties

...and thats not me by the way

I remember how I couldn’t sleep the night before Christmas because I was so excited about the presents I might find under the Christmas tree. I would sneak out of bed around 4am to see if Santa (whom by the way I believe is black!) had paid a visit to my living room. I had to tip toe to and  fro in order not to wake up my sisters or my parents. After checking for all the presents which bore my name I would scurry off to bed with a big grin on my face. I’d have more difficulty sleeping because I was trying to figure out what my presents were. Was it the Monopoly board game? Sega MegaDrive Console? Or was it a Scaletrix Car Racing set? Aaaaaargh! Isn’t it time to wake up yet????

There was a compulsory church service at 7am that my family and I had to go to (courtesy of mum and dad). We would dress up in our best clothes and sing praises to God and the inevitable ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ tune just before the service was over. We would get back home around 10am and be famished. Mum would come to the rescue as she used her superhuman powers to whip up a mouth-watering English breakfast; Eggs, Sausages, Bacon, Toast, Tomatoes (didn’t have mushrooms then but she did include Quaker Oats…mmm).

We didn’t have Cable/Satellite television then so I sat and watched the local channels (NTA 2 Channel 5 being my favourite). I would be enchanted by the Intro to the movie epic Jesus of Nazareth (the best version starring Robert Powell as Jesus). Afterwards my sisters and I would run to the Christmas tree and snatch our respective presents. My parents ALWAYS got what we wanted – must be their amazing psychic abilities. Then there was the catchy music. I would dance to Boney M as they sang their Christmas classics (Boney style). I would prance around like a pony as I could perceive Christmas Turkey Chicken being roasted in the oven. We’d ‘wash that down’ with some jollof rice (no, I didn’t invent the rice, for those non-Nigerian readers…its more like a risotto). I would drink all the Coke, Fanta Sprite that my bladder could handle and search under the crown corks to see if I had won a prize in the latest promotional campaign. The whole family would play Cards, Ludo or Snakes and Ladders and kill a few more hours.




We sometimes went out to see a family friend in the evening or a family friend would pay a visit to us. My sisters and I especially liked the ones who gave us cash in envelopes. There was dessert; Birds Custard with a slice of fruitcake…yum. We would stay up all night watching movies till you couldn’t tell the difference between the zombies on-screen and the ones on the sofa. If I had eaten way too much then I would be constipated and desperately trying to guzzle the nearest mixture of Andrews Liver Salt. I’d burp and fart my way to sleep (no sheep-counting required). Good times.

This year I wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Thank you for being a part of The Crazy Nigerian world. Cheers 😀

Entry #55 – Ashamed

Today as I sat down in my local church and listened to the bible study teachings, I pondered on the theme which was ‘Being ashamed of the gospel’. What I found it to mean was not necessarily detaching oneself from hearing or believing the word of God but shying away from telling someone else about Him. As a Christian it’s a hard-hitting truth to be reminded that if I deny Christ on earth then He will deny me in Heaven. Surely, it wouldn’t cost me anything to just open my mouth and tell someone close by that there’s more to this life and that we need to be repentant so that we can live a life (an after-life) eternal. But it’s not as easy as that and I’ll tell you why.

Society dictates what is the norm, what is cool, what is acceptable, and as a result Christians sometimes seem to be treading on eggshells when it comes to speaking up about Christ. If we always worried about what people would think about us based on our actions then we would never act. It goes with everything else and not just religion. If I worried about what my friends would think then I wouldn’t go for salsa classes (well, I’ve stopped now but only because it’s too damn expensive, honest!). It’s a big barrier that could mean the difference between saving a soul or leaving that soul to be tormented in the depths of hell. How about skeptics or agnostics who challenge Christian beliefs? They appear to be obstacles too and they sometimes put up really good, factual arguments that could even make the most fanatical Christians doubt their faith a teeny bit.

All that’s required of Christians in sharing the gospel is to do just do that – Share it. There’s no need to worry about how the other party will receive it or if they will give their lives to Christ that minute – It might be the next day, a fortnight or even a year after before they finally surrender their lives to Christ.

For those who do not believe in any religion whatsoever my question is this: Just what IF (and notice this is a big ‘if’) there is life after death, there is a Heaven and a Hell, there is a Judgement day…would you want to take that chance and reap the consequences for the rest of your life? I wouldn’t.

Some doubt that God can do such things as allow His children to suffer in Hell because He created us. What about the victims of the great flood in the time of Noah? Fast-forward to 2010 and you have the 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile which at the last count took 300 lives and affected 400,000 others. There are more and more disasters each year, some natural and some man-made: The World Trade Center attacks in 2001 took close to 3000 lives including 800 of the rescue workers. The Tsunami of 2004 took nearly 250,000 lives a day after Christmas. Where are all their souls right now. Is it just a case of ‘Ashes to ashes, dust to dust’?

I believe the reason why a lot of us are still alive today is just by the Grace of God. He gives us more than a second chance to surrender our lives to Him. He loves us. He gave us free will, otherwise he could just as easily have created us such that we serve Him by default like robots. Ironically He knows which way we’ll sway though He gives us (limited) chances, put His message in the media, talk to us through people who are ready to spread his word, etc. This way no one can say they didn’t know or they didn’t hear.

The end times are already in progress and with the pace of Global warming we’re set to see even more radical changes in weather and probably a shift to the Ice Age – I think Washington got its first glimpse of what Obama coined as ‘Snowmageddon’. If what happened in the 2012 movie were to happen today then I bet the churches across the world would be packed to full capacity but would it be too late by then?

So now what can little old me do to share the word? The Bible study teacher said every time you do something nice for someone or give to those in need and they say ‘thank you’ you could respond with ‘Jesus loves you’ – that drives the message home. The art of Giving is so powerful, rewarding and therapeutic: The more you give, the more you receive (in Heaven and Earth).

Other ways of spreading the gospel would be through distribution of tracts or daily devotionals. You just might touch someone’s life without even knowing it. Blogs are another fantastic way to share the Word and you could reach a worldwide audience. I’m no saint but I hope I’ve lived a life so far that would want to make someone say ‘Hey, I want to be happy like him. What’s his secret?’ It’s simple – I know that Jesus loves me…and I’m not ashamed to say it 😀