Monday, December 21, 2009

A Messy Xmas for Daddy

Photo credit: zebisteca.com.br

"Have you ever imagined what Santa Claus
will be doing for the remaining 364 days?"

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way… I hear the bells announcing the coming of Xmas. Do you hear what I hear? Come on, ring those bells again. Jingle bells, jingle bells… Hark! The Herald angels sing. Yet everything is silent. Well, it’s Silent Night, holy night… Angels from the realms of glory sing. From Heaven Above to earth they come singing, “We Wish You a Merry Xmas…” Good music to the ears. But, daddy, this Xmas sounds like a messy Xmas to me. Everything is Still, Still, Still. Nothing is moving… Here they come, all ye faithful. Tearful, not triumphant but hopeful. They all wear long faces. Their eyes are blood-shot. Have they gone to Jeddah or Bethlehem to see the old or the new king? Our Sunday School teacher says we must appreciate him. O come, let us adore Him, whether born of Holy Virgin Mary or Holy Virgin Mariam. It’s Joy to the World. C’mon, ring those bells again. Sing the song, Ding Dong Merrily on High/In heaven the bells are ringing/Ding dong verily the sky/Is heaven with angels singing/ Glo-o-o-o-ria, Hosanna in excelsis. The choirmaster has promised to play another old song. Let there be peace on earth. We sing it every year and it is becoming a cliché. This is a unipolar world, yet with multi-polar problems. War in the east; war in the west. Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine, drug wars in Latin America… But while ideological divides are narrowing, religious gulfs are widening. Then a “political child” was born to the world. His name is Barack Obama. Will somebody ask somebody to shout, Alleluyah? Not yet.

Here Comes Santa Claus to deliver his Xmas goodies. Daddy, what do you want? Ah! Ah! Ah! Daddy is shaking his snow-white head. All he wants for Xmas is his two front teeth. Teeth that got broken while eating bones as meat. “Everybody pauses and stares at me/These two teeth are gone as you can see/I don’t know just who to blame for this catastrophe!/But my one wish on Xmas eve is as plain as it can be!/All I want for Xmas is my two front teeth, my two front teeth…” Gee! Daddy wants brand-new teeth for Xmas but he has forgotten that the dentist needs electricity to power his instruments. For the umpteenth time, government has sustained gloom during Xmas. No water. No electricity. No fuel. No generator to even recharge the inverter! Now, Daddy has got a brand-new song, “All I want for Xmas is 6,000 megawatts…” That will be the most wonderful day of the year when it happens. Can you imagine the country generating electricity at full capacity? How beautiful will the cities and towns be on Xmas eve? Can somebody shout, Alleluyah? What for? Sadly enough, the three kings of Orient love civilisation but not our Herods. They would rather strangle our hope in the manger. But Daddy, you don’t have to lose a heartbeat over that. This is a season of hope and joy. So, Daddy Have Yourself a Merry Little Xmas if grandma cannot.

Poor grandma! She went out to buy candles and matches when her neighbourhood was thrown into darkness and, guess what happened, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer! Yet we still wish her happyholiday. But grandma is not happy. She is confined into a wheelchair like our country’s paralysed dream. And so for The Twelve Days of Xmas we shall pray and sing for grandma. But Daddy, do not say I told you what I saw when mummy took us to see Father Xmas many years ago. Daddy, you promise me? I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus! You may not believe me but that’s what I saw. But come, Daddy, have you ever imagined what Father Xmas will be doing the rest 364 days? He is a human being after all. So, he can steal a kiss or two while on duty. Daddy, forgive mummy in the true spirit of the Yuletide. She could have been kissed under duress. The world is changing. Nowadays, anybody, even criminals, can be Father Xmas.


Life is still Ding dong merrily on high but no Gloria in excelsis. Every year the poor masses hear of Xmas. They hear of turkeys. They hear of hampers. They hear of carols. Christmas is coming/The geese are getting fat,/Please put a penny/In the old man’s hat/If you haven’t got a penny,/A ha’penny will do,/If you haven’t got a ha’penny/Then God bless you. Daddy, have you thrown your widow’s mite in the beggar’s bowl? I have given my own, the pocket money you gave me. After giving the little I had, I started beating my drums and one little angel whispered to me, “Little Drummer Boy, God bless you.” True, I’m a little drummer boy out with his drums and tambourines to welcome both the new-born and the reborn king to the world. Like the Magi (the three kings of the Orient), I embarked on a journey in the cold desert in search of the God of gods, Light of light, King of kings, the only Begotten, not created, Son of the Holy Father who grew and developed in the womb of a virgin. Holy Mary! Holy Virgin! Alas, the King of Angels had been sequestered far from Herod’s arm’s way. I did not see Him in Bethlehem or Jerusalem. It was somebody else I saw and that was in Jeddah. I said: Barka da Chrismois but he did not respond. Yaya de? Still he would not answer. Bako mi? Still no response. “Menene?” No dice. This is a season of goodwill, I tried to explain. He was just looking at me as if I had just dropped from Mount Arafat. I started singing: “We wich you a morri Chrismois/We wich you a morri Chrismois and a haffy nu yah.” The reborn king looked dazed. He was motionless. I said I had come with good tidings and he should not fear. I said your enemies may wish you a messy Xmas, I’m not here to join the bandwagon to wish you ill luck or to "emphasise" your indisposition to a radical change in the polity but to wish you well. I told him what fellow countrymen want from their reborn king. They want him to initiate a rebirth of nationalism in their sub-conscious. They want a reborn or would-be king that will celebrate Eid el Kabir with Muslims in Calabar and Xmas with Christians in Sokoto while a lighted Xmas tree gleams with the season’s goodwill in the seat of power in Abuja. Only then can we truthfully sing Joy to the World and open a new vista of hope for mankind.




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