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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: In Your Christmas Hamper

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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.

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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.

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