When we left the US in early November the hype for the Christmas season was already in full swing, the stores decorated and temptations arrayed with SALE! SALE! SALE! The ads on the TV bombarded us with visions of an idealized Christmas with attractive, middle-class families smiling and having the best of times, SPENDING! SPENDING! SPENDING! It was the perfect time to flee…
This is our fourth consecutive Christmas outside the US and except for missing our family (Yay Skype) we’ve enjoyed some holiday time with new friends we’ve made along the way in each of our temporary homes. We’ve appreciated our role on the sidelines watching long-established celebrations with the emphasis on family and community traditions rather than the commercialism, excess and high expectations that we were a part of for so many years.
As we’ve walked and driven around and about Lagos we’ve discovered, somewhat to our surprise, that the city’s decorations are very low-key with few outside ornaments and lights although many of the store windows around the central plaza have a Christmas themed display.
In fact, until you duck into the larger stores or souvenir shops you might not even know that Christmas is just around the corner. But if you look up you might catch a glimpse of Santa clambering about the rooftops.
And what will we do for the holiday? Since we’re still in the settling-in phase in our newly adopted city our answer is a very contented, “Not much.” We have our poinsettia plant which has been shedding leaves steadily as our lone concession to decorating for the season and we’re already wearing our Christmas presents that we bought a few days ago at a Christmas market: shearling slippers.
Christmas Eve we’ll celebrate in one of our favorite little restaurants with a British style meal of turkey and the trimmings and just enough Christmas carols to get into the Christmas spirit. And, if we can keep awake long enough, maybe we’ll drive around the city to see how others make merry. As for Christmas Day? There are miles of nearly deserted beautiful beaches nearby… Does it get any better than that?
Feliz Natal y Feliz Ano Nova to you and yours,
Anita and Richard