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What is your definition of end-of-the-year festivities?  

To many people, the festivities is a time not just to celebrate but to enjoy free time for relaxation. During this period there will be no waking up early in the morning for work and there will be no facing the hustle and bustle of the city.

This time of the year is when we recount the journey and steps taken during the year, while the Christmas celebration is going on, Boxing Day is also not far behind. People around the world have adopted this period for different festivities and celebrations.

The church in Rome began celebrating Christmas on December 25th in the 4th century during the reign of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, possibly to weaken pagan traditions while Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated after Christmas Day.

Boxing Day was once a day to donate gifts to those in need, but it has evolved to become a part of end-of-year festivities, with many people choosing to shop for deals on Boxing Day. It originated in the United Kingdom and is celebrated in several Commonwealth nations.

Every year, we get excited about the festivity at the end of the year.

I remember while growing up, this period of the year was the only time I got to wear new clothes with cover shoes. Christmas was a time to share what you have with friends and neighbors. In the western part of the country, people often prepare their meals in large portions and then share them with friends and neighbors.

I am familiar with this because my family also did that. I would always follow my siblings to deliver the food accordingly, there was no going back home empty-handed because we always got cash gifts in return.  

Many of us can relate to this, I mean we would never complain because of the cash rewards we got back from those errands.

Every tribe has their way of celebrating the festive period, is it still happening now? In Cross River State, the ex-governor of the state, Donald Duke started a calendar of events for the season. From the 30th of November to the early hours of December there was tree lightening at the same time, all the decorations done around the city would be lit, and on the other days, a different artist would perform at the UJ Essuene stadium, there is free entry for all. Then there is a planned carnival both for adults and children. This made Calabar a tourist center during the end-of-year period.

I asked my colleague what the end of the year means to him and he said “It’s nothing different from any other day”. Another colleague of mine said, “End of the year while growing up, was about Christmas clothes, chicken, and harmattan. But now there is climate change, instead of harmattan, it’s raining”.

Let’s use this period to reminisce about the struggles, challenges, successes, and awards that have been achieved this year. Recounting blessings and failures is a form of appraisal taking which helps you to grow.

According to Peggy Toney Horton, “As the year comes to a close, it is a time for reflection – a time to release old thoughts and beliefs and forgive old hurts. Whatever has happened in the past year, the New Year brings fresh beginnings. Exciting new experiences and relationships await. Let us be thankful for the blessings of the past and the promise of the future.”

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