Memories of Christmas
By: Bukunmi Kolade
Christmas is here again. It is that time of the year, no one can ignore. It is there in the sights, in the sounds, in the media, in the excitement and for me in my yearly 18 day “don’t call my cell” vacation ????.
Growing up, the countdown starts from August. It’s four months to Christmas when we begin to gather pistols, bisco lights , knockout, banger, etc. Does anybody remember that year Oyo State government banned the use of fireworks and then sponsored a very elaborate firework display at the Government House? A friend once told me that our problem in this country is impertinence for the rule of law (you may check Google for the meaning of the word) but that’s the exact definition of impertinence right there????. Anyway it’s not their matter that has brought out my pen today.
When I became a father, one of my fondest memories at yuletide is during the annual children Christmas party at Vine Branch , Mokola, Ibadan. We invite children who will normally not go to Christian gatherings and share the joy of Christmas with them. For four consecutive years, I am Santa Claus for a few hours. This particular year I had been out of town all week. I came straight to church and dressed up as Santa Clause. Our 3 children were at the party and I remember wondering if they would recognize me in my costume.
I alighted from my reindeer bike and entered the hall bearing my bag of goodies and waving to the rhythm of music. The hall erupted in excited screaming from the children and their teachers. “If you are happy and you know it clap your hands ” I screamed into the microphone – infected with childlike enthusiasm as I got the party going. After all this was over and done with, I asked our children if and when they recognized me in the costume. “Of course we did” all three of them chorused. One of them recognized me when I started dancing to the beats, another did when I spoke. As I walked into the hall, one of them said to his/her friends “my daddy is the Santa Claus”. Am glad they all recognized me even though at different times. I will keep who said what under wraps so none of them will think they will be disinherited????.
On a serious note, it was a reflection of the depth of our relationship at that time. That they recognised me at all? That’s good enough for me. It would have been very painful for me if none or any of them did not. It would have said loads… about our relationship or the absence of it.
There was a recognition that the earth missed; it was a sign of the love of the Father. “…Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign … a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name immmanuel.” Isaiah 7:14. That was a sign that redemption of humanity is on the Fathers mind centuries before it happened. But did humanity recognize the sign? Do you recognize the sign? Don’t let’s miss out on the Major in the midst of the minors.
Jesus is the reason for the season. In the midst of the carols and the gifts and the music and the sight sand the sounds at yuletide, we must never forget. JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.
Dr. Bukunmi Kolade (MB,BS Ib, FWACS) is a full time husband, father, son and a part time doctor. He sent this piece from Ibadan.
Memories of Christmas