Christmas as a Teenager #Blogmas Day 2

Yesterday, I shared some of my favourite childhood memories about Christmas as a little girl. Today, I shall be giving you guys a glimpse into what Christmas was like for me as an adolescent and a teenager.

I was one of those who skipped Primary 5 & 6. I took my common entrance exams in primary 4. Sat for the exam in both Ondo State and Ogun State (that was where dad was stationed at the time). Of course, I passed all with excellence and off I went to Abeokuta Girls Grammar School.

Remember I mentioned yesterday that I was the youngest of seven children? Well, my admission into AGGS meant I had to leave my Akure family to move in with my dad. I was in the boarding school and spent my holidays with my biological family.

My admission into secondary school and the move away from the family I grew up with signalled the end of my childhood. When I returned to my parents, I resumed my rightly position and duties as the first of what later became six children. Words fail me to describe how much I missed being the baby of the house. I was no longer the centre of attention. I went straight from being the pampered child to the one who had to look after everyone else. The change was too sudden and I was not given enough time to grow out of being a baby into the mini mummy of the house.

Strange as it might sound, I missed my cousins spanking me. I thought I would have preferred it to the beatings I was getting from my father whenever I did not act right or behave maturely enough. I wanted none of the responsibilities that came with being a first child. I hadn’t even learnt how well to take care of myself and there I was having to take care of my younger siblings.

Christmas wasn’t that fun for me as it used to be.

I was grown. Young but grown by all of the responsibilities I was saddled with, I was no longer the baby of the house and everyone expected me to drop all of my childlike behaviours.

Always a baby girl

Christmas preparations as a teenager had me plucking feathers off dead chickens soaked in big bowls of hot water. Gosh! How I hated that smell. I still find it very nauseating. I no longer got tiny pieces of hot chicken cut in my hand on Christmas eves; that had changed too. All I got now was hot oil splashing out of the frying pan and burning my face and hands. I missed being my big cousin’s handbag. I missed following her to visit friends who always bought me biscuits and soft drinks. Some even gave me money. I now carried the shopping bag behind Mumsy, dragging it by my side with tired hands, praying that the Christmas shopping would end soon. I cursed at those who hit me with their bags as they hurried about with their own shopping in a bit to return home early enough to start Christmas cooking. I hated that we always had to park the car hundreds of kilometres away and trek into the market because it seemed everyone was shopping on the same day.

I missed not knowing what the process of getting ready the steaming hot jollof rice that came after the customary first meal of pounded yam and efo riro or egusi soup was on Christmas day.

I missed my mother (my cousins’ mum) dressing me up in my aunty-give-me-cake gowns, white socks with lace on the ankles, shining new shoes –those shoes were always black and oversized. Mother always said it was better and cost effective to buy shoes and clothes for children in bigger sizes as they were still growing. I missed my telephone wire ponytails that were attached to the end of my hair gelled into a bun.

Bye packing gel, holla dreads!

I did not exactly miss the gown ‘cause now, I got to follow Mumsy to the market to buy my skinny jeans and pretty tops, belts, heeled sandals, fancy slippers, and heck, it was “gone for good” to the double decker glasses and computer wristwatches that never worked after the second day. I loved my new wardrobe but I disliked that I had to sew what we call “anko” (matching outfits) with my siblings.

So here is the gist huh…

Mumsy always got us English wears for Christmas and an extra top for Boxing Day – always the same pair of jeans though. Then she bought several yards of lace or Ankara material that would be shared amongst my siblings and me for New Year’s Day or thanksgiving.

Recall that I mentioned in Blogmas Day 1 that my immediate older cousin is at least 4 years older than I am? Well, that meant that there was hardly such a thing as matching outfits or “anko” in my childhood.

Christmas was definitely different for me as a teenager.

My biological family was not as large as my old one. My siblings and I were all young. There were fewer visitations from family and friends and I missed going around with my friends on Christmas day to people’s houses, not to eat rice but to collect money in new notes. A particular family always gave us this delicious chin-chin I would nib on forever so it would last longer… LOL

In my older teenage years, I graduated from helping out with the cooking to doing the cooking. Heavens know I do not like cooking, but what choice did I have?

My parents always had pounded yam for breakfast on Christmas day, which I never pounded by the way. But I did every other thing from the cooking of different types of rice, to the soups, frying, and so on.

However, as my siblings and I got older, we got fed up of having rice in any shape and form on Christmas day. We opted for meals like bread and fried eggs, spaghetti (my absolute favourite), fried yam and sauce, and all sorts. I remember a particular Christmas I had fried chicken and garri for breakfast. There was just nothing special about having rice on Christmas day anymore.

If I were to pick between my Christmas as a little girl and as a teenager, I would pick my childhood Christmas over and again.

I missed being a baby. All the responsibilities that came with growing up downed the joy of Christmas for me as a teenager. The only fun thing we did was go to eatery to eat snacks and ice cream. I wasn’t going to be caught eating rice on Christmas day, not after spending all of my morning toiling in the kitchen preparing rice for whoever would come visiting my parents.

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I hope you had a better Christmas experience as teenager. If you did (or not), please share your experience in the comment section, I’d love to read from you.

This is day 2 of my #Blogmas series; tomorrow shall be another day.  

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Bolaji Gelax

Hey, Star! Thanks for stopping by my world. I'm a gorgeous, sassy radio junkie who enjoys playing devil's advocate. I love everything that makes me happy, which includes the Stars in my #Galaxy. They call me MISS FLOWERY because I bring good vibes, love and light. Feel free to explore my world ❤✨

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10 thoughts on “Christmas as a Teenager #Blogmas Day 2

  1. Gelax is bringing back sweet memories oo! 👍

    My best part of childhood Christmas was moving in groups visiting relatives and family friends… If I had saved all the money I got myself Xmas days, I am sure I would have been the richest kid on the block then, I was a charming kid, so u must ‘dash’ me hard currency!😋 But mum had other plans, she got me a food flask from all the millions notes I gave her and the remaining money was for her food I kept eating and the cloths I wear… 😧

    I am the last born of the house, one of my right is I get to eat the head of the chicken while others eat fleshy chicken parts… I enjoyed it and was always proud of such honour… Little did I know I was just happy for bones and juicy fowl head😧

    I knew I’ve passed childhood one Xmas when I refused the head of the chicken for the more meaty parts… When reminded of my rights, I immediately passed the baton to my younger nephew and faced the chicken lap served. 😉🐔

    Let’s don’t even talk about Xmas clothes and shoes… My mum made sure of that always… Dad had a funny way of showing love… Providing roof over your head, school and food on the table, Xmas clothes? never in his budget. So mum naturally became the Favorite parent. 😀

    Chai Childhood memories 😊😊

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    1. I moved around too, but I quickly got out of it because my cousins never stopped teasing…LOL

      I think every African mum did that. Okay, maybe just Nigerian mums, but jeez! That thing dey pain!

      I’ve always hated head of chicken, my immediately older cousin maintained her lastborn birthright with that. But guess what? I always got the chicken legs and I loved it!

      Oh well, I thought I did. I felt getting two pieces (legs) while my cousin got just one head was the coolest thing. MUMU child like me… SMH

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  2. Patrick, it was scam oooo. My mom used to call me Àrólé (which literally means heir). Because I was Àrólé, I was made to eat chicken head. The commitment and gratification I put into savouring every chicken head I got on Christmas days was inexplicable.

    This post brings back a lot of memories. Mum had a very funny tactic. She sells clothes, so Christmas clothes were no issue. She had a way of killing two birds with a stone. She’d buy our clothes and keep them at home. She’d tell us they were for neighbours who bought and kept them with her until their husbands gave them money for the clothes. In a few cases, the stories were true, but in most cases, the clothes were for us. She’d keep them because she wanted to surprise us and also get money from our dad on or before Christmas.

    Sometimes, she’d keep the clothes in her store only for them to be retrieved on Christmas day. Oh boy! The tears and disappointment that always came before her plans were revealed were torrential.

    I always used to find it difficult to sleep on the eve of Christmas. The paparazzi sessions before we left for church. The eagerness to wear our clothes and show them off. I can never forget the very heavy application of ‘dusting powder’ and conspicuous ‘tiro’ (kohl) mum always adorned us with.

    Christmas was always a memory we looked forward to and adored.

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    1. Wow @Oladele you got me wit the dusting powder and Tiro… I still have those pictures with my sis we took in the studio, my head up high and my neck white as snow 😊… I wonder if today kids have something to remember tomorrow about Xmas. Things have really changed!!!

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      1. Plsssssss, I’d love to see those pictures.

        Nah nah, all they have is their favourite Christmas movies and the year it was released. I almost feel sorry for them

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    2. You go fear Àrólé now… LMAO. Jeez! Y’all with tiro fashion. Nah nah, I had too many cool big sisters to be subjected to that… heheheee. Let’s see pictures from the paparazzi now.

      Yeah, Christmas was always a memorable one for me too; but for this thing called Short Term Memory loss… aaarrrrgh! Pay me no attention ngwanu… LOL

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  3. I faintly recall most of my teenage Christmas was spent in my home town. The joy of having all my Uncles, aunties and cousins was worth more than food and drinks. There was always a lot to eat and drink and it was so much fun. We had visitors too and entertaining them meant entertainment for the whole family. There was always variety of meals and drinks too. Mum was sure to always keep ‘Mist mag’ and other stomach related drugs handy because before midnight the excesses consumed must come out, either from the mouth or the anus! lolz.

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    1. We spent ours in my home town too but without the plenty uncles, aunties nor cousins. It was just my immediate family.

      Oh yeah, I remember mist mag. Ours only came out from the anus though…LOL. I’m glad you had a fun teenage Christmas

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  4. Phew! Christmas for me was centered on three things – banger, Jollof and more banger. Chai, I invested money in that crap. That money could have been used to purchase a choice estate in Banana Island right now but still on still, God no go shame us.

    I never traveled out of Lagos neither did I visit relatives. Most Christmas celebrations was spent on the streets as per king of boys wey I be. *winks*

    Now, Christmas for me is an indoor affair, I can’t deal with the stress of going out to eat the same Jollof that is in abundance in my father’s house. Taniz for reading

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    1. Ah yes, bangers!!! I’m definitely writing about my experiences with bangers. However, my obsession was with disco lights, even though we called it “bisco” or “ina Olorun” meaning God’s light 🤣

      Ayobami, the King of boys!

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