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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: In Your Christmas Hamper



At this time of the year, my brain starts shutting down from the 15th. There’s something that takes me on a downward spiral from that date. There’s zero zest for work and even very little desire to write. From that date, I’m all about waiting for the last week of the year when I’m cocooned in bubble of nothingness. This year is quite different – it is devoid of the luxury of idleness and laziness. With deadlines looming from every corner, the closest I’ve come to my Christmas is sighing wistfully as thoughts of Christmas gifts.

This is the time of the year when you have someone or the other tell you “I’m into Christmas hampers now oh! Personalized towels and Harrods biscuits – very unique”

Hampers are the most common thing at Christmas in Lagos. If you drive through Apongbon, you’re treated to a special glimpse of Christmas. The buying and selling of Christmas hampers is our very special way of – an assortment of cane basket laden with the typical cereal, milk, Ribena, dodgy baked beans and expired Digestives. The content of the hamper you receive is sometimes determined by the value placed on you by the person giving the gift. Other times, the hamper and its content is a function of how financially flexible the giver is.

So, my friend Dupe called me last night and we talked about the festive season and what we had planned for the holidays and the conversation strayed towards Christmas gifts and what they mean. She told me that last year she received a beautifully decorated gold box which had amongst other things (the Harrods biscuits and the Marks and Spencer Truffles), red lingerie and fishnet stockings. My next question was ‘ah ah who gave you such a suggestive gift?’  because I knew she didn’t and still doesn’t have a boyfriend. But her response was ‘he’s my friend na, does a gift really mean anything? Isn’t it just a gift?’ And this just made wonder about Christmas gifts  and if there was anything to be inferred from whatever was given.

Someone once complained that she received a hamper of different shapes of cooking utensils from her boo. Apparently they had had a conversation – jokingly- about how the extent of her cooking skills is making a sandwich. She was not full of cheer when she received a Christmas package of pots and pans. In her opinion he was passing a not-so-subtle message to her and she was not finding it funny. When she confronted him about it, he said he was merely being open minded. Perhaps a nudge in the direction of domestication.

And this has piqued my curiosity.What are your thoughts on the contents of a Christmas gift? Do we read too much meaning into the gifts we receive or are they merely a nice gesture on the part of the giver? If you ask me, pots and pans are a wonderful gift especially if you love to cook like I do but to others it speaks volumes. I would love to hear and read your thoughts.
So in the spirit of Christmas, give and receive in love, eat lots and don’t overdose on the calories.

Peace, love & cupcakes.

Photo Credit:

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. ..just saying

    December 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Bella, we’ve received Linda’s Christmas gift so what are you giving your own readers?

  2. Sisi

    December 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Personally I think it’s just a nice gesture on the part of the giver, if you don’t know actually what to get then it’s best to opt for a gift card for the recipient to use at their favourite store, oh and by the way who’s in London for a hang out?

    • Moi

      December 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm


    • Banke

      December 24, 2013 at 1:25 am

      I’m in London and would like to hangout 🙂 contact me on [email protected]

  3. Busarni

    December 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    messages can be passed across through gifts (hamper).

  4. I love my boo

    December 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    I love hampers the

  5. D

    December 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    lol @ fish net… I would have asked about the dude’s intent though….I know not everyone knows how to give good gifts and if you are one of those just give a gift card instead of fish nets and lingerie. I know it is the thought that counts but I believe in giving what I know the receiver can use no matter how small it is.


    December 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I like a hamper that is carefully and thoughtfully put together. not the regular cereal, ribena, bake beans, digestives, bottle of cashew nut etc. after all the saying is “whatever is worth doing at all should be worth doing well”.

  7. Thelma

    December 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Atoke this isn’t the time people tell you I’m into
    Christmas hampers o! That’s like 3 or 4 months ago. In September I
    sent out proposals to offices to supply gift hampers for Christmas.
    And guess what, they all said I was already too late. Hia! Next
    year I’ll start in June o! (As someone suggested.) To answer your
    question, I read meaning into gifts, if we’re platonic friends then
    I won’t really appreciate you giving me sexy lingerie. But
    sometimes even the giver doesn’t know what’s in the hamper. They
    just see a very attractive, beautifully packaged hamper, buy it and
    give it to you.

  8. Shona

    December 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I agree with Thelma.Are people not tired of giving or recieving gifts in hampers like biscuits,groundnuts,detergents etc?

  9. Stephanie

    December 24, 2013 at 1:35 am

    you can be so blunt!…it’s good sha

  10. Pade

    December 24, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Anything in the hamper is fine,it’s the thought that really matters.

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