Christmas once again


IT’S Christmas once again, the celebratory occasion where we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Unless you are a Jehovah’s Witness or atheist I reckon Christmas-remains the most celebrated birthday on earth.

I remember writing a Christmas centred article this same time last year.

Doing it again this year only makes me realise that yet another year has gone past. I don’t know if it’s getting older, but the years now seem to fly by.

The days are fluid with Monday literally melting into Tuesday and before you know it the week is over. Weeks go by, then months and soon it’s years.

Unfortunately time does not stand still. Like that over used cliché, time waits for no man (or woman).

This makes me realise how important it is to use time wisely while on earth. So many Christmases will pass you by and you will have achieved nothing yet your “to do” list keeps growing longer and longer.

We keep growing, not younger, but much older.

Yes, we can harp on about 50 being the new 40 or 30 being the new 20, but that still does not negate the fact that you have been on the earth for half a century or two decades.

You could be 60, something in the body of a 20-year-old but you certainly can’t go around flaunting achievements of a 20-year-old life in your 60-year-old body.

I have reached the stage where unless you are turning 40 birthdays are no longer a celebration, but a time for deep introspection where you ask yourself what you have to show for the years gone by.

The pressure becomes more palpable when you have dependents that rely on you for their sustenance. What legacy are you going to leave behind? One of fruitfulness and abundance or one of brokenness and poverty?

A lot of us are afraid of growing up and growing older. It’s like that 60-year-old man you bump into a nightclub with a 20-year-old woman on his arm. She becomes his beacon of youth that he’s holding onto for dear life.

It’s like that 60-year-old woman who is dating a 30-year-old man. She flaunts a body that has defied age and gravity yet the lines on her face tell a different story. Nowadays the rage is on being healthy, living longer and looking younger.

No one is applauded for ageing gracefully but we applaud those who look like they have managed to arrest the process of ageing. This is why we have a thriving beauty industry that sells us youth in pretty glass bottles.

I know women who have been turning 30 for the last few years of their lives. It’s ironic because when we are young we can’t wait to grow up. Ask any five-year-old and they will harp on about when I grow up I want to be a policeman or a teacher.

Then when we are grown up we realise that maybe we were better off younger. We pine for those carefree days when we just used to play, eat and sleep.

Look at babies. They have absolutely no worries in the world beyond being fed, diaper changed and put to bed. It is a life devoid of responsibilities split between sleeping and playing.

Such a glorious life! Now instead of playing you pray harder if you are a person of faith.

You pray that the Lord grants you another tomorrow so that you can watch your kids grow, watch the bank balance grow and hopefully watch your dreams take root.

You eat if you have the food to eat. You grow food so that you have something to harvest to put food on your table.

Or you work even harder to make sure that you can still provide something edible every night. As for sleeping, this only comes with either pure exhaustion from the days of hard labour or pure contentment.

For others sleep is elusive as they lie awake at night plagued by unpaid bills and the uncertainty of tomorrow.

Even as Christmas Day looms and there is a little festive cheer in the air you still looking beyond as the New Year rears its head.

You hoping against all hope that this coming year will be better than the last.

That this coming year you will do things differently. Whatever your dreams or anxieties are I wish you all a Merry Christmas. If you can’t be merry fake it with a shot of vodka or whatever, poison you desire. Don’t worry; be merry!

Sue Nyathi is the author of the novel The Polygamist. You can follow her on Twitter @SueNyathi