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Encourage creativity this festive season


I don’t know if other people have heard this rumour- that the Federal Government may release funds this December. I have heard from two traders on two different occasions and in different locations.

I thought that they were trying to console themselves and keep the morale up from the ‘no market’ syndrome, which is the result of fewer people having the money to buy even the basic needs of a family.

When I heard the female trader said it for the second time, I paid closer attention because I more than anybody, always felt I needed the manna more. My interest peaked, I glanced at the woman she spoke to and beheld an anxious and crest-fallen colleague who had not made a single sale from 9:00am in the morning; it was past 6:00pm.

“You wait and see,” she urges her. “They are looking forward to second term; they will release money at Christmas,” she enthused.

It was the very same reason, the first person; a male trader gave for the expected windfall.

I don’t know if there is a single truth in this but talk about the carrot and stick method; a government keeping back funds so that people live without pride and dignity-the way we have in recent times.

So I think it is best treated as rumour peddled about by people who are trying to grasp at any hope possible; but even with this explanation, Nigerians should not be brought down so low.

Still if, indeed, the traders sniff a possible release of funds that could give us abundant money to spend this Yuletide, one thinks that our experiences of late should make us more careful spenders this season; but we observe the traditions of good cheer and the celebration of the New Year. We must, however, try to spend less so we can survive the dry months should the government decide to withhold funds again.

We can aim to celebrate as simply as possible with a higher aim to see the lessons we have learned from this period of want. If you follow these tips which have been tried and tested by people who have gone through economic depression and come out on top, the family may have a real happy holiday in the sense that they had time to know and enjoy each other.

First is to put up the Christmas tree and the decorations; with the fairy lights and other shiny objects around the house, and the mood is set. You may have to announce to the children that the emphasis in 2016 is on homemade gifts; you don’t have to say that you can’t afford to buy presents.

“With Chioma’s high scores in her art class, I think we should make gifts for everybody,” should set the interest or competition up. The other children never thought that Chioma could be better and they will set out to prove you wrong with the wonders from their art class. You have just unleashed the yearnings of many children who, although are keen to produce, but feel discouraged because they feel their ideas are not needed or appreciated. They would not want to make a present that is substandard to gift to grandpa or grandma.

Girls enjoy knitting these days; so a cap carefully and lovingly woven for grandma would be a good present as would those set of beads which many of them make these days.

They know their peculiar taste as siblings and are aware that big brother would be scornful at a rough attempt to give him a hand-painted poster of his favourite celebrity. Who is a better critique than big brother?

So that bottle of cologne may look easier but make them consider what they can make themselves.

The lesson learned? You have just realized that you have budding artists as children.

Make 2016 Special
Join the festivities. Don’t stay at home because you think you cannot afford to go out. If it is only fuel you can buy, load up the tank and drive around with Daddy. Tell stories that make you laugh. If the original plan is going to Bar Beach from Iyana Ipaja, do not abandon it because the situation looks hopeless now that the holidays are here; it may be uncomfortable, but you will spend less. Take a BRT bus direct from there to CMS, from CMS, travel in style-hire Keke Marwa to the beach or on a visit to relatives-mummy taking care to weave her hair instead of perm setting; the breeze would remind her of the hardship.

Enjoy the family time anyhow you can make it because comes the next year, one of the children may have grown enough to plan the celebration of the season away from the family.

Some spots in Victoria Island are becoming favourite fun spots for the family; you can create lasting memories posed in front of Santa Claus at the Zenith Garden. Apart from transport, it may cost nothing and the memories are recorded in pictures.

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