Holiday Etiquette: 11 Rules of Christmas

Christmas Etiquette
Photo| Mohamed Ajufaan| Unsplash

December is here. It’s officially time that time of the year to pretend to be rich even if you have been struggling to pay your rent all year long and have been contemplating offloading your extra kidney. For the next one month, none of us is broke and struggling. Clubs that don’t normally charge entry fees will start doing so because we won’t care that we are being charged and getting stamped like beef at a slaughter house before we are allowed to spend money on overpriced drinks. It is also the time to pretend that your middle-aged body can handle as much liquor assault as that of a second year university student. It’s okay to remind everyone, who do not care by the way, that YOLO (since Disney trademarked Hakuna Matata). And there is nothing wrong with all that. However, we still need to set some house rules to guide us during this period.

1. I know you are waiting for Christmas messages from your other friends so you can forward them to me. Don’t bother. I know your creative talents, or lack of them thereof. That two page SMS was sent to you by someone who received it from someone else who downloaded it from the internet. In fact, don’t send me any Merry Christmas texts. I’m fine, really. If you must send me something, send money.

2. Before you drunk call me, text first and ask if I am in a position to take a conversation about alcohol and women. You see, I have no problem with your slurring and shouting on a phone with a microphone but if I’m in the village with my extended clan, I cannot comfortably talk about how you have been cutting waters for days and how easy it is to lay Nairobi women in December. The convo will be awkward if you persist and insist. I’ll just say ‘Eh! Noma’ the whole time.

3. Don’t expect anything from me. Not even a forwarded lengthy message wishing that Jesus gets born in your heart and that the angels remember you in their cry yada yada. Don’t be petty about it. You can sulk for the whole of January 2019 if you want because I didn’t respond to your paragraphs of wishes. If you send me gifts, I may or may not reciprocate. If I don’t, it has nothing to do with how I take our friendship. I’m just broke.

4. We are adults. As such, we will not gather 30 bottles of beer on our table because we want to impress other people. No, we will not take pictures of those bottles of beer or whatever Instagram-worthy alcohol we are partaking. We will order our beer as needed so that we get them cold. If I want to drink warm beverages, I will go back to my house and prepare porridge.

5. No, we won’t be taking selfies either. Yes, it is LIT or we are LIT or whatever but people on social media don’t need to know about it. Don’t post pictures on Facebook and tag me unless I’m actually WITH YOU. Even if I am with you, ask for my consent first before you post any photo I’m in on social media. I won’t give that consent.

6. Oh, you’ll be in Mombasa/ Watamu/ Diani for Christmas? Good for you. As long as you are alive and healthy, that’s good enough for me. You don’t have to give me several pictorial exhibits to prove you are having a good time. There’s a difference between telling where you are during the holidays and starting a lowkey “my life is better than yours” (uncalled-for) competition. Unless you are inviting me and paying for it, I will pretend to care about how you are celebrating Christmas and the New Year only because I don’t have money for your funeral.

7. Learn social etiquette. If you tell me “Let’s go grab a beer,” and I agree, the implication is that we’ll split the bill. If you are drinking somewhere and you call me “Uko wapi? Kuja club flani.” and I show up, the implication is that you are taking care of the bill. I’m not paying for shit. The only things I’m carrying to that club are my fare back home and thirst.

Corollary: If we are splitting the bill, consult me first before ordering. Sure, that whiskey older than myself is smooth and tantalizing to my palate but it might be out of my budget.

8. Don’t be ambitious on other people’s money. If someone tells you “Kuja club flani” and you heed to that alcohol alert, be a gentleman or a lady. That’s not the time to order poisons you have been crushing on but which are out of your league. Order something within the price range of whatever your sponsor is drinking.

9. You are not that popular. Those people are shouting your name and giving you shoulder bumps because you are spending your money on them. Have fun but go home when you have had enough and spend time with your family.

Also, no one knows who the fuck you are. Don’t be the tool who starts fights in clubs and asks,”Unajua mimi ni nani?” Unless you are Christ himself downing shots to celebrate your birthday or my father, I don’t care who you are.

10. The car won’t find its way home. Instead, it will find its way into a ditch, barrier or other cars and you will die. Which I have no problem with. But you will also kill other innocent road users. This, I have a problem with. If you have a death wish, drink so much until your liver explodes. This way no one else gets injured or killed

11. Pipe down. Oh, you don’t celebrate Christmas? Good for you. You think Christmas is a capitalistic construct meant to rob the proletariat of their minimum wages? Good for you, too. Erm, I can’t hear you at the back, could you speak louder, please? Uhm, Christmas has lost its meaning? Sorry to hear that. Sad indeed. But sweetheart, these people were told to reflect on the death of Christ (because of their sins) during Easter and what did they do? Got drunk and fornicated for 4 days nonstop. Imagine what they’ll do to celebrate His birthday.

Whatever your belief about Christmas is, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. We will spend the holidays whichever way we want.

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