As we wrap up the year in preparation for the Christmas celebrations, you can’t help but notice the lack of Christmas cheer in the air. Word on the street is that Christmas feels different this year; even the harmattan breeze can’t seem to decide whether to blow or not.
There’s no doubt that inflation has a lot to do with it. So we decided to ask Nigerians how inflation has influenced the way they celebrate Christmas.
“This year was a horrible financial year for me” — Anne
The inflation has really reached my side this year. Funnily enough, it’s not like things got bad all of a sudden, but this year was a horrible financial year for me. Like, very bad. So you can imagine the kind of Christmas I’m going to have.
First things first, this year was the first time in six years I did not give foodstuff to St Vincent de Paul society, a society in the church that helps the needy. It’s somebody that has seen food to eat that can think of what to spare. I sha sent my widow’s mite of ₦1k to their account.
After sending money home and disbursing all the other expenses for the year, I realised that I can’t afford to travel this year. If I dare travel, I will have to live on loans for the 150 days in January. Why will I do that to myself? I didn’t travel last year as well, but it was because I had to work during the holidays. I still sent money home and spent last Christmas in Abuja with my boyfriend, and I also had a couple of outings with my friends. But this year, I’m staying put at home, abeg.
“I have set money aside to flex on the 26th” — Nk
In terms of spending, I won’t say anything has changed per se. However, I have not yet given or received anything this year. I also thought I would be travelling and had designated some money to buy gifts for my people back home. But things have changed and I’m not travelling anymore, so I will just send money to them. But I have set money aside to flex on the 26th. I will not kill myself.
“January is like 40 days long” — Godson
I’m spending most of this Christmas inside my house, please. January is like 40 days long. This country has become really hard, so anything that is not essential will take a backseat. I’ve only signed up for two outings this year, as opposed to before when almost every day I had places to go.
Nothing like new clothes or shoes this year. No sliding into any girl’s DM to check in because I’m scared of billing. Some people are still balling and having a good time, but not regular Joes like us.
“People no longer bring jollof rice to our house like before” — Mina
I don’t celebrate Christmas. Although what I noticed that’s different is that people no longer bring jollof rice to our house like before again. When I was younger, we used to have plenty of options to choose from the food our neighbours brought.
My brother and I used to go around the table tasting all the food, ranking them from most to least delicious. But the number keeps reducing every year, and now we only get food from like one or two people. Sapa is holding everybody. I miss those good times.
“Even if inflation magically goes away next year, I still won’t spend money anyhow” — Bami
For spending, I’ve always been one that never buys stuff even for the Christmas season. Aside from food, the only thing I do for myself every Christmas is to go and see two movies and come back home. My budget for fun for the past 3 to 4 years has been around ₦15k, so inflation does not determine that. Even if inflation magically goes away next year, I still won’t spend money anyhow.
For giving, my primary recipients are my family, and the money I send home has been constant as well. Unless I have extra to give. But as my salary has not inflated, nothing yet. So I’ll say I’m indifferent. Nothing has changed.
“Everything about the Christmas this year is different” — Segun
You know how they keep joking that everybody got married this year? I’m one of those people. So this is my first Christmas as a married man. If inflation did not stop me from getting married, is it Christmas that it wants to stop?
But jokes aside sha, everything about Christmas this year is different, apart from the fact that I have a lifelong roommate, this might just be my best Christmas so far. And the fact that we have a two-income household has everything to do with it. We’ve already mapped out our income and expenses for the year, and I’m happy with the numbers I saw because we can have a great time without breaking the bank.
There’s enough to pay bills, send home, save, and still do small Detty December. It’s not like the prices of things are not problematic o. But it does help that I have a support system now. This year has been a ride, I just want to put my feet up for the next two weeks.