As much as I can remember from childhood memories, Christmas was from 25th December till 31st December; the whole 6 days will be filled with celebrations – my Igbo brothers and sisters who travel to the village during Christmas can relate. But as I grew older, my understanding was enlightened to the fact that 26th December is Boxing Day and this means opening of Christmas presents. Oyibo people usually arrange this under a Christmas tree but I’m pretty sure in Naija we don’t mind whether the gift is even wrapped, talk more of being placed under any tree, sha just bring it.
So I woke up on 26th December 2016 wondering how I’ll spend the day but more importantly – what will be in my box; I remember posting a picture on Instagram with the words, “Happy Boxing Day Dear Friends….. What’s in your box?” After posting on social media, I decided to go jogging with a friend (to burn off some Christmas calories). We jogged through a route we had never used before; as we moved ahead, we came across a communal settlement of people who lived in very small houses made of woods and something like a trampoline for roofing (this is in Lagos). These people barely have a shelter over their head; judging from the unhygienic environment, their food will lack adequate nutrients compared to the delicacies many of us get daily. I’m not sure if they had electricity or any source of water supply; my friend looked at me and said, “Lynda, we’re blessed oh”. I couldn’t help but wonder what Christmas meant to these people and if they were looking forward to any presents on Boxing Day.
I got home and looked under my Christmas tree to find over 5 boxes with my name on it; I don’t recall making a wish list or telling anyone what I wanted for Christmas but I was amazed at how these items were carefully chosen for me. I mean, is God not awesome; I never “hexperred” it (in Jenifa’s voice) but I got more than what I could have asked for. I quickly dialled his number, the sound of his voice brought tears and smiles at the same time as I said “Daddy good-morning, how are you?” Flashback to February 16th, the fact that I could still dial his number and hear his voice on the other end of the line was my greatest gift wrapped in a big golden box. With two kidnappings in the family (miraculously released by God without any ransom – typical story of Paul & Silas), one accident (healed without any broken bones or damages), one health problem (healed & restored), I received one of the best gifts anyone could ask for – FAMILY and LIFE.
The people I saw at the settlement reminded me of how blessed many of us are but fail to see it because we expect these blessings to come in tangible form. We live in good houses, eat sumptuous meals, have a job, live in good health and still complain of not having enough. A friend, Ugo asked me how many boxes I received and I said many; I asked him and he said none – I guess he meant tangibles.
Back to my gift boxes under the Christmas tree…
One of my boxes was filled with great friends who motivate, inspire and encourage me. My daily prayer everyday is for God to STRATEGICALLY position the RIGHT people in my path, talk about divine connection/networking and he more than did it for me this year. Another box was filled with laughter, joy, peace and happiness – not everybody knows how to be happy or be filled with joy or to be at peace in the midst of a storm. Amidst all that happened this year, God gave me the peace that passes all understanding, the courage to smile even when I felt like crying; the strength to keep moving even when I couldn’t see any ray of hope. Should I keep going? Lolll…. My boxes are plenty but I’ll love to hear what gifts you received on Boxing Day.
Was it tangible or intangible?