Tales from Grandma: Fe yeye na mi…Merry Christmas!!!
Jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way,
Oh what a joy, it is to see fanta all the way
Oh jingle bells jingle bells jingle all the way,
Oh what a fun it is to see fanta all thy wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.
Till date, this is my lyrics for the famous Christmas jingle. I never cared to learn the right words because to me, these words capture the true feeling and expectations of the festive season. It's all about joy, fun and sharing fanta!
Oh how I relish those Christmases I used to spend with my family …. Family was a much bigger term or concept in those days. I, my siblings, mum and dad, aunties, grandparents, uncles, cousins, Auntie Adzo's friend's little niece and so many other people, I can't even trace the lineage.
I used to stay awake all night, counting the stars on December 24th night, anxious for day-break, just so I could wear my cute pretty dress on Christmas day. And oh, the presents … we didn't get to open gifts picked from a Christmas tree; but hey, we had more than enough to be joyous for. Uncle Mawunyo gave us some candies and bars of chocolate, big cousin Dela gave us some biscuits, auntie Adisa gave my little brother some toys and oh my God there was lots of food! … there was a long table full of different kinds of dishes you would think we had a grand buffet going on. These were food brought by family, friends, neighbours, and just anyone who was moved by the spirit of the season – giving and sharing.
It didn't matter who wore the best clothes or who got the most expensive gifts; we all felt special at Christmas. My favourite part of the season was the merry-go-round trips I took with my grandma who couldn't do a 5-metre distance without an aid of a walking stick. But my grandma wouldn't be deterred by any such hindrances as waist pains. She loved to walk to people's homes and exchange greetings and good wishes. She would say;
“Efe yeye na mi looooo. Fe yeyea nenyo, netsor nuse, lamese, dzidzor kple nutifafa vana mi sia (meaning, Happy New Year, may the New Year be good; may it bring you strength, good health, joy and peace). We would go round till grandma felt satisfied that she had visited virtually every home in the village.
These were times that I truly felt happy at Christmas; it was simple, natural and shared. I long for those Christmas days. We can rekindle it by sharing little acts of kindness. Let's show true love to one another in this season. Spend some time with people you care for, give presents if you can afford. They don't have to be expensive ….. simple practical gifts are the best. A simple card to say thank you to someone may be enough. Offer free services …. wash a friend's car, invite friends over to dinner, surprise an old friend with a phone call, put a smile on the face of that little girl you always see on your way to work everyday selling iced water on the street; buy her a dress, a pair of shoes or give her something to be truly happy for.
Christmas is also a time of peace. My grandma went round asking people to forgive her of any wrongs she might have done against them; knowingly or unknowingly.
Let's celebrate Christmas in the same spirit of forgiveness, sharing and loving.