It is that time of the year when the rat race slows down for many of us. The days of waking up before the sun can show up and logging out of computers when it is no longer good for your health are put behind as people celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and the turn of a new year. Those with formal jobs often take a long break to enjoy this time without any distractions.
Some of us with no formal employment actually find the season to be the distraction. There is less work and you are even less likely to be paid for the work you did before Jimmy from the accounts department has already joined his family to roast meat and open chilled drinks. So your invoice will gather dust until sometime next year.
For those in the entertainment industry, this is the time they get so busy entertaining people at many events. I still recall some years back when I saw a comedian moving around the city on a bodaboda so as to be able to perform at several different venues on New Year’s Eve. I guess this category get to have their holiday sometime in January when everyone else is broke and crying about being broke.
Sadly the festive season is also the time when our roads tend to claim a lot of lives due to road accidents. There are several factors that lead to this but many are the usual ones only exacerbated by the increase in traffic heading from the cities to the villages where many prefer to spend the days with their extended families.
Some drivers who are only used to doing city rounds suddenly find themselves on the highways and forget that this is different terrain that calls for a lot more caution. We should all be careful when on these roads. Make sure your car is in a good condition and the driver is sober and fresh. Then abide by the traffic rules especially the designated speed limits.
The move by many from the cities to the rural areas has been described by some as the biggest domestic tourism event annually. You can call it an exodus of sorts that often results in bus fares to go up as many rush to make the journey.
In places where domestic aviation has picked up the exodus also means that air ticket prices also go up as providers struggle to deal with the numbers. The SGR train to Mombasa is already booked so many days into January as Nairobians make their annual exodus to the coastal towns of Mombasa, Malindi, Diani and Lamu among others.
For those making the trip from the city to the villages, you stand a chance to make a difference to the lives of the people back there. You can start with carrying cash so that you do your shopping from the village instead of clearing supermarket shelves in the city.
Imagine the difference this can make to the economy of your village? And trust me some things like sugar taste just the same if bought from the city centre or the village shop.
If this is made a habit then it can go a long way in improving the lives of those in the villages.
Just remember that you need cash and in manageable denominations. Do not stress people with your Visa card if you have not seen the sign anywhere around.
With this we can nurture the habit of buying from people in the villages instead of them begging for handouts or offering us their food for free to pack in our cars as we head back to the city.
This is also a good time to sit and chat with relatives and random villagers to get a feel of what kind of challenges they face that may be different from those in the cities. You can visit the local school or hospital to get a better understanding of where they stand as far as development is concerned.
Talk to the young ones, ask about their dreams and give them some words of wisdom. Don’t just spend your time feasting and sleeping to digest the heavy meal. Be a blessing to those you interact with. That is indeed the kind of Christmas gift you should carry with you.
Merry Christmas to everyone.
The views expressed in this article are of the author.