Christmas is supposed to be one of the best times of the year. Well for these nine Nigerian women, Christmas is anything but a time of joy and cheer. They share with us why they hate Christmas.
We prepare food for 25 people at minimum, it’s like a tradition, and has always been like that since I was a child. I started helping when I was 13 then at 18 my mum said I am grown so we don’t need extra help in the house, so it’s just two of us that cook. My siblings help with washing dishes but the cooking is just I and my mum.
I’ve always hated Christmas. As a child, everyone used to come to our house. Domestic staff didn’t work on that day, so I had to partake in the labor and I hated it. I pride myself on my laziness.
One Christmas, my ex boyfriend and I planned to end our lives. Unfortunately, only him succeeded and I have felt very guilty ever since. The Christmas season was also the period when I was raped. My mother made it seem like it was my fault. My grandfather also die, and honestly it seems like something terrible happens every Christmas, and I am tired. There are too many painful memories attached to the season.
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Growing up, we never really celebrated Christmas because my dad also viewed it as pagan, but I don’t think that’s the real reason. I hate Christmas so much because it has always been so traumatic for me. My dad would be so frustrated because he is unable to provide for us during that time, that he gets so verbally aggressive. Sometimes, he gets physical too. I hate Christmas because I have never had a good one, it’s usually just very sad for me.
Growing up, I really hated Christmas and the whole fuss that came with it. I hated acting like a proper family and giving food to neighbours. It just all seemed forced, especially because my parents were separated and I wasn’t really close to anyone at home. The worst part was we always had to spend 25th at home and not go anywhere. It was always so annoying because I would be getting invites to come out, but be stuck at home. This year, my mum has traveled and I don’t even live with her anymore, so iI think it is better, but something about Christmas still feels forced to me.
I hate killing the chicken, cleaning the chicken poop, and then cooking the chicken. Please, I have a date with my clit, why can’t they stop bothering me? After cleaning cow bowels for Eid, does it not end? Now, I hide in my room and blame my unavailability on work.
I hate all holidays for different reasons, but Christmas is special. My sister died during Christmas in 2014 and it just made my hate for Christmas intensify. I spent the whole month sliding into depression and doing funeral things while everyone around us was so jolly and excited. Another reason I hate Christmas, is the crowds and traffic. Plus the stupid rise in prices. Why should I spend more because it is Jesus’ birthday month?
Growing up, there was always a lot of talk about “ember” months and how evil this time frame was. It didn’t make sense to me that people would commit all manner of atrocities just to go to their villages to show off for Christmas. Christmas that signifies the birth of Jesus and should in actuality be holy? Then I got older, and had to spend hours on end making a variety of dishes because of the holiday. It’s exhausting. You spend so much on Christmas that by the time it’s business as usual, there’s struggling. I can’t think of anything about Christmas that excites me. Movies make me cringe, the music is stale, Christmas services are repetitive, I’m not interested in visitors, and I definitely do not want to do any work. Perhaps I’d like Christmas better if it were on my own terms.
I come from a Christian home, and since I was little, every single Christmas was spent in church camp and it was very terrible. Long hours listening to different pastors, hunger because “you must feed your soul before your body”. When I started university, I did everything to avoid going home for Christmas, so I stayed far away in Accra every Christmas. During Christmas in 2016, I was with my boyfriend and he locked me out and almost killed me. He beat me and threatened to stab me with broken mirror. After I left his house January, I think my hatred for Christmas and the entire period grew. Now, I just want it to pass fast, so the rest of us can go on with our lives.
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