Maybe the bells will still jingle.

Victoria Oladipo
3 min readOct 12, 2022

On Christmas Traditions and whatnot.

My first Christmas cloth was a fine yellow blouse and a long jean skirt. I spent the days before wearing it admiring it. It was the first time I owned a jeans skirt that would make me feel good. It was also the first time I had Christmas Clothes.

We usually spend Christmas in church camp, and I enjoyed it. Although I never attended church camp for what it was meant for, I used it as an opportunity to get away from my parents and meet my friends. Church camp was twice a year, and I only got to see most of my friends better at that point without parental supervision.

I remember grumbling on one of these Decembers as we entered the bus to camp. I remember being told, “this is our own Shiloh. Do you remember Hannah in the bible?”. I envied everyone that came back to school to tell their Christmas stories. The easterners especially came to share stories of their fathers’ big houses in the village and how they played around their family compound. I still do. I still admire people with Christmas stories and traditions.

I only understood that people made Christmas hair when I grew older. “What hair will you make for Christmas?” people ask me. “Hair for Christmas, ke?” I will laugh and reply. I do not know what receiving a Christmas gift is like and the highest I’ve ever done is say merry Christmas on my social media and smile at the cute-looking pictures of people for Christmas.

While at church camp, a young friend and I protested why we had to eat akamu and Akara on Christmas day. I remember being told it was a pagan festival and should not be celebrated. The person didn’t also end without a very suspicious mathematical calculation on how Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas day and didn’t die in April. We laughed it off as young children and returned to our seats without solid arguments for our protests.

As an adult, I may care way less about Christmas. I may have built a culture of guiding myself from the beauty of it. I may care less about the season because I barely know or feel it. Seeing people make tweets about Christmas, keeping up with traditions for themselves and their new families, I begin to wonder if I will grow into an adult like that. I also wonder how much conscious effort it would require to build a tradition for myself and my future family.

Or maybe one day, if the idea of matching pajamas will ever catch my fancy with a lover. Or maybe, one day, I will understand what bells jingle and what is always inside all the boxes under a Christmas tree.

My favorite thing to look forward to in December is the cheesy Christmas romance movies Netflix will show, and the only way I can live my Christmas romance fantasy.

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