If The Grinch Didn’t Steal Our Christmas, Then Who Did?

There is a long list of religious holidays in Nigeria. Over here, irrespective of religion, we celebrate Christmas, Eid el Adl, and all the holidays in between.  Growing up, the first breeze of harmattan meant different things to us. It meant the holidays were coming, and this translated to end-of-the-year parties, it meant Christmas gifts, it meant cold mornings and being able to sleep in for long hours, it also meant chicken stew and to some of us it meant Christmas money. That’s what Christmas was for me, back in 2013. 

Ten years after and a lot has changed- for us as individuals, for society and largely for the country. Christmas, in itself, has changed and so have all the holidays in between. To most within our age group, the younger millennials and the Gen Zs, there’s a shared feeling that Christmas is not as fun as it used to or should be. I’m pretty sure that The Grinch didn’t steal our Christmas. So if the Grinch didn’t steal Christmas, who did?

There’s a list of confirmed suspects whom we think are responsible for this radical change. For accuracy’s sake, we asked UIMSAites who they thought these were and here’s what they had to say.

David in 2K26 says “Christmas is that season where we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God. And of course, it comes with its festivities and merriment, it’s known to be a moment of celebration, wining and dining etc. you know the rest ????

When asked if Christmas was the same as it was when he was younger, he explained that the more he understood the religious concept behind Christmas, the less fun it became. He alleges that this was because he realized that it was much more than just wining and dining. 

When asked to identify any of the suspects, he pointed straight at Adulting.

Chibuzor in 2K25 claims that Christmas is the most wonderful day of the year. He also acknowledges that he’s one of the lucky ones whose Christmas hasn’t changed from when he was younger. 

Felicia in 2K24 feels deeply about Christmas and this is seen in her response “Christmas is another special season in the year to celebrate with friends and loved ones.  It’s a season filled with various carols and Christmas concerts targeted at celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Also, with its proximity to the end of the year, it’s a reminder that we’re about crossing over to a new year which is quite exciting.”

She acknowledges that Christmas, along with a lot of other things, has changed while growing up.

She, like David,  points the finger at adulting but agrees that medicine too has a role to play. She explains “Majorly adulting… Medicine also has a role to play. For instance, I have my last Biochemistry Continuous Assessment less than two weeks after resumption in January. There’s a lot to cover, so I’d rather use my “celebration” time in December to compensate for the little time I have in January to study.”

Adulting is the leading suspect in this case and for reasons that we can all relate to. As we grew older, our understanding of Christmas changed and the celebratory traditions evolved with time. Having fun is now a conscious effort as opposed to the easy, carefree Christmases of years past. We have to create new traditions or rekindle the older ones or this and this and this. It’s too much work.

For Medicine, a lot of medical students can relate to Felicia’s reality. Most classes have an in-course test coming up or an ‘End of Posting Test’ or even preparation for their Medical Board examination. So while trying to enjoy Christmas, they have to create time to study and deftly avoid academic failure. 

The Nigerian Economy is another seemingly unsuspecting player in this situation but is in fact the biggest suspect of them all. We’ll explain why. Just as Christmas has changed for us as adults, it also has for the little kids. The cost of things has gone over the ceiling and most parents with teenage kids or younger can’t even afford to provide the same luxury parents in 2013-2016 could provide. 

Christmas used to mean spending time at places like The University of Ibadan Zoological Garden, Trans Amusement Park Ibadan or any other fun place. These fun spots are facing immediate extinction. The zoo used to be more fun than it is now, especially when the number of animals there is considered. The Trans Amusement Park will be converted to a new estate. Where should the younger kids go to make fresh memories, and where should the older kids go to feel nostalgic?

We won’t convict anyone for stealing our Christmas, not the economy, not Adulting, not medicine. Rather we’ll convict them for attempted theft because Christmas can still be fun, happy and merry. This year, do not let your impending tests or unfulfilled goals from 2023 weigh you down; instead, use the occasion to start new traditions or revisit old ones. If you are at home, enjoy every moment because you never know when you will be with your family again. If you are at school, try to make new memories with your friends.

The UIMSA Press hopes you have a jolly Christmas.

Afeezah Wojuade

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