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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: Yo! It’s Gifts Season



As the year draws to an end, I find my mind slowly shutting down as well.  Thoughts of the Christmas holidays, the joy, merriment and events that usually come with this season. Oh! I almost forgot the gifts. Christmas is normally associated with gifts, so it’s that time of the year when we start thinking about gifts for our friends, and loved ones.

When we were younger, gifts were almost always guaranteed; birthdays and Christmas. In fact, if you were good, you’d get to even say what you wanted. However, as we grew older things changed. We had to join the rank of “the givers” as well. So when your friend is getting married, or having a baby shower, you start thinking of what gift to buy. Birthdays are tricky, so you can actually get away with not going overboard with the gift. If the person isn’t really a close friend, then maybe a birthday card would work. (Meanwhile, I think I’m the only one in the world who absolutely cannot stand birthday cards! But that’s a rant for another day.)

A little while ago, the standard operating procedure during Nigerian wedding reception parties is that at some point during the programme, the eMCee would make an announcement that people with gifts should drop their gifts at a designated location.  However,  I’ve found that they’ve either stopped making these announcements or you find that very few gifts are stacked in the gifts corner.  Wondering if I was the only one who had noticed this new trend, I asked my friend who said “When we’ve finished using our money to buy expensive aso-ebi and planning bridal shower, we don’t have money to be buying gifts abeg!” Someone else said that the predominant wedding gifts were mostly stuff that people had in their houses already and there was a “scarcity of gift ideas.

This weekend, Mnena and Dooshima were talking about how people no longer bring gifts to parties. Mnena had been to a baby’s birthday party where it appeared that she was the only one who had brought the baby a present. Dooshima, with her sharp mouth responded that “People who spend millions of Naira on Champagne and events venue don’t need my measly rattle or baby clothes!

It was funny, and it made me think about an invite to a baby shower I received. The invite came with the gift list and a lot of times this is so helpful because you can plan properly and know that you’re actually purchasing something that the person needs… as opposed to the person accumulating 40 different types of those plastic food warmers.

As I wrap up this piece, (I need to hurry back to compiling my Christmas wishlist) I’d like you guys to share your experiences. When was the last time you gave or received a gift? How do you decide what gift to give? Are you like my silly friend, Tayo who says “I don’t give gifts oh, people give me ni!”  Has the giving of gifts during “occasions” gone extinct? and finally…. Let me know where I should send my wishlist when I’m done compiling it 😉

Have a great week people. Find a reason to smile, remember to keep your head up.

Love, peace and cupcakes!



You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. adenike!

    December 10, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Well done Atoke! Just the right article to start my week. Well,I’m glad I’ve got a fantastic fiance who surprises me with gifts every now and then. I also have an amazing besty, Ronke who’s equally wonderful in the giving department. Aside those two,nobody else o! That’s why I make it a point of duty to get both of them stuff every now and then.
    PS: I was discussing with my besty a couple of days ago about people no longer giving gifts for birthdays. Fortunately for both of us,she’s January and I’m February; once it’s my birthday and no one at the workplace gives me nothing,I strike them off my ‘gift list’ for the year.

  2. H.A.W

    December 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Hmmm Atoke, People do not give as much as they used to. the last Christmas presents I received were from my immediate family. I do not remember anyone outside that circle giving me anything and I had shopped and bought stuff for family and friends and nothing in return. This year however, I’m pocketing my money 😀

  3. impervious

    December 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Maybe we should develop the habit of a gift list… where friends buy from a pre-arranged list from the couple / mother of the child. The problem is that we simply don’t have department stores that cater to this sort of thing in Nigeria and people don’t have the time to be running around game looking for the cheapest available kettle… Once our online banking/ payments online system is established and stores feel ‘safe’ enough to do it I am sure this will take off

  4. JADE

    December 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I love giving and receiving gifts but ive come to the sad conclusion that most people are like ur friend tayo, they want to receive but would hesitate to give, last year i didnt have such a great job but i still bought my bf an original Wahl’s men grooms kit for xmas and he a businessman gave me nothing, so i have learned to spend my gift money on my self.
    PS: For his birthday i gave him #100 mtn and etisalat recharge cards 🙂

  5. jyde

    December 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Na only x-mas?Abeg make everbody answer ehn own name joor
    No be 4nijah again O.Fada x-mas hummer dey pass nijah with high speed,e get sense.
    Una never ear say nigeria don scatta?Ok O.Dis one wey man no fit commot for nite
    how we wan do x-mas?Make everybody suck ehn own mama brest o.Coz dis x-mas na like every other day,untold blood sweat and tears.

  6. jyde

    December 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Atoke was right sha. Oga jus enter office announce say na x-mas come jet go dubai for x-mas.
    Na how u go go muslim city celebrate x-mas. Only nijah. We are truely great.
    Meanwhile we get chance collect x-mas title for office.
    Civil service work 4nijah get as e be.
    Make i close mouth. Enjoy x-mas O. Nobody know tomorow.

  7. divea

    December 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    i do receive gifts from my immediate family and friends and i do likewise for my friends-on their birthdays, weddings, their children’s birthday etc.

  8. Radiant

    December 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I noticed that my proportion of giving has not increased over the years. I know more people now than before but my ‘gifting’ has not been able to match the number yet. But I’m working on it. In the meantime, I try to honour more invitations too. *whew*

  9. nems

    December 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I like the idea of a gift list and made a gift list this Christmas however when it comes to giving gifts I love going a but more personal. I like DIY gifts, for a new mother I’ll make a pamper gift basket, In-law for Christmas a wine basket so they don’t have to spend so much on drinks ,for a close friend I’ll sew a dress. I recently wrote an article on my blog on giving the perfect present and how it has to have a balance of being useful, a treat and affordable

  10. missy

    December 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    i receieve spontaneous gifts and i give spontaneous gifts. Anytime im out and i see something i know someone who’ll like it and its affrodable, i buy it and give to the person. I love seeing that surprise on their face as its a ‘just because…’ type of gift. On my birthdays, my gifts are always overwhelming whatever country I happen to be.

  11. Neo

    December 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I love to give gifts as much as i love receiving them. the best people to give gifts to ae kids as the excitement or joy they often display is a gioft in itself. I will definitely miss being at my sister’s this xmas, there’s always a xmas tree with gifts underneath including one for yours truly.

    the ultimate gifty to receive for me (which i have been hinting at for several long months now) is a pair of hot red soles from my good friend Christian! Lord i believe you can still do it for ur daughter.

  12. dont mention

    December 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    i pride myself a gifter, not just a gifter but a very good one at that. do i always recieve back, nope. but its who i am, if i care abt u, i will give u a gift all year rd with the occassions but i hav not been fortunate to recieve. does that deter me, not one bit bc giving is in my blood but it will def feel nice to recieve too once in a while.

  13. Karonwi

    December 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I always look forward to Atoke’s morning banter!
    Im nt much of a gift-giver but i try to give to my close frnds during special occasions. I found myself in a place where people hardly give gifts. Like your friend who was the only one who took a gift to the shower(been there).
    Nevertheless, I love when people give me gifts (no matter how small). I appreciate it a whole lot especially cuz I know not many people r stil into gifting

  14. juicypetal

    December 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    me, av lant 2 hpe 4 nofin so i wont b disappointed ooo. I’m notin makin any wishlist cos am 99% sure none of my F&F av mi on d wishlists, so y boda? Previous xperiences av tot mi 2 trt n pamper misef rily gud n ‘bone’ odas.
    ***winks*** bt wudnt mind if u surprise mi….***winks***

    • Italian Princess

      December 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      Queen’s Premier and Brighter Grammar 1, 2 & 3 perhaps? Somebody should help JuicyPetal biko!

    • Slimgirl

      December 11, 2012 at 9:04 am


  15. faith

    December 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Gift ke…lol

  16. haters anonymous

    December 11, 2012 at 1:49 am

    people that dont give gifts dont hv manners.
    people foing the ceremony spend all that money to make their guests comfortable (others to shw off but thats the wrong reason and obv morals gone wrong), but people attending the serenre should be appreciative and bring something to show support and gratitude! thats my two cents

  17. nana

    December 11, 2012 at 5:12 am

    The only people I give gifts to are my parents, baby sister and my boy friend. Friends don’t give gifts and I try my best to give back but I dont get shit so no more gifts for these cold bitches .lol. Truth is when a friend invites me for a bday get together and shes cooking and all. I ALWAYS bring something at least a bottle of wine or something . I find it weird that other guests just show up to eat food and drink. at least a card wont break your wallet, don’t come empty!

  18. pade

    December 11, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Seem to be a lucky one here, by virtue of my job i get to receive a lot of Xmas gifts, but really except to my immediate family which im obliged to give i hardly give gifts this season.
    I realized that you give people and when it comes to you turn they only display your picture during Ur happy times, so i do not give anyone anything neither do i display any picture. SHIKENA. MERRY X MAS xoxo

  19. jyde

    December 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Ok now on a serious note, i know there are plety of people who enjoy giving gifts at x-mas.
    So,to help you guys feel good my brother 4airport works with DHL,and we can recieve any gifts sent.
    I am not joking o.Dis na serious matta.If u know x-mas wont be the same for you without giving and enjoying that feeling that youve put a smile on someones face,then heres your guy,
    Ive seen so many things online,the wish list would be endless,so i wont write one.I leave the choice of gift up to you.Given your good tastes,im sure to be happy.
    If possible we saw those ilu oyinbo agric goat dem.Mehn british goat dey gbadun o.No be small tin.Dont worry about shey na quarrentine dem call am? Ah 4nijah again.4get dat one.
    No be chop we wan chop am.If no livestock no probs guyz go hit sabo.
    Meanwhile,please try your best to make us and yourselves happy,its x-mas afterall.Its the time to give folks.OLUWA ti pese fun wa.We go pray and hail your names nonstop.
    Imagine starting the new year just knowing how happy youve made me?
    Now thats gotta be worth it. NO?
    I f you cant give then dont hesitate to nudge your co-workers and mention me.
    Im not an orphan, homeless,bush,or poor self,im thinking of you,and how to make you smile,you know just in case youve no one to give gifts to.
    If youre really feeling generous, a wallmart/tesco/harrods/tiffneys hamper would go down a real treat .Notice i dont mind cheap or expensive gifts.Greed isnt good.
    I feel as if x-mas is here already.Ah i pray say guyz chop better dat day sha.
    Even loose fowl for road no dey again.Im dead serious.An me i no too like 404.
    But if times are tough wetin people go do.
    No be nijah we dey.
    Una wey get,when overfeeding,stop for a sec and think whilst youre gourging dat x-mas food,some kids are scraping stinking fetid rubbish dumps.
    No be nijah we dey?
    Sad but true.
    Na only x-mas?poor people dont even know its tuesday.

  20. Mz Socially Awkward...

    December 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I’m really excited about this particular holiday as I’ll be flying home to see family and friends, loaded with gifts. Sadly, I’m not sure I’ll get back as much as I’ve given but I suppose that’s not the point, abi?

    My original plan for christmas day was to spend the afternoon at an orphanage but my family aren’t fully committed to doing that yet so will see if it pans out… Wish I could just fill a suitcase with goodiesfor the kids who don’t have any direct family to spend christmas with. Actually, I wish I could say “no” to my own family who want this and that… I could put the luggage space to much better use 🙁

    • jyde

      December 11, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      Mz Socially Akward,My entire village is awaiting your arrival my dear.Which airport ?
      Ive hired a trailer to bring people and collect our gifts,
      We have started to hail you and praise your name O.
      Dis x-mas is going to be a special one.
      Imagine the kids not having to pick rubbish dumps coz of you.
      you do well O.We salute you well well.
      If orphans are your thing,there are thousands for airport sef. you will feel good b4 u even reach home,Me my villagers and masses of orphans await you.
      You do well O.
      Abi no be 4nijah we dey?
      im not to sure u go like the state of nigeria but you are welcome.
      You do well.

  21. MEE

    December 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Miz socialy awkward,pls nt let ur family nt wanting to go to d’ophanage deter u from goin, i totaly like ur sincerity,i culd giv u plenty addreses of homes n’d’needy.pls holla [email protected]. tanx

    • jyde

      December 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      please include mine,i kno i don old small but we are all gods children now.

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