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I thought we were all broke...!

Indeed, in this country, lament about poverty alone. I am starting to think that people respond to our poverty lamentations with similar cries of their own out of modesty.

Because, cheii! What is this? Have you attended a wedding this season? Some of the flashiest weddings I have ever seen just went down this December.

Have you been downtown lately? If Christmas has not yet come to your home, you are on your own, my friend. The Christmas shopping madness has started in earnest in town and I could not help but wonder, what happened to “this is going to be the worst Christmas ever! We have no money”?

It does not help matters that also traders from neighbouring countries are in town stocking up for their festive season customers...

Parents are also sending their children ahead to the villages for Christmas before the taxi and bus fares go crazy next week; so, if you have any business around Mini Price, Nabugabo road, St Balikuddembe market, Qualicell, say a prayer before you dive in.

Add to all that chaos the number of boda bodas that seem to comfortably compete with pedestrians in numbers, and you have yourself a trigger for your panic attacks if you, like me, tend to get claustrophobic.

I thank the Lord for this season, because regardless our stresses, Ugandans know how to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in every way that makes meaning to them.

My niece yesterday gave me Shs 5,000 for safekeeping, informing me she is saving for Christmas shoes, because she knows her mother has struggled financially this year. When I accepted to keep the money for her without making any other promises, she peeped back into the room to add: “The shoes I’m saving for cost Shs 20,000, by the way!”

What a way to inform me that she had done all the savings she can, and I am expected to top up with the Shs 15,000!

But I love the fact that regardless the pains this year has dished up, we move. Budgets may have been slashed considerably and styles altered to fit pockets, but we are, nonetheless, planning to have a good time this Christmas.

In case you were still wallowing in self-pity and failing to get into the festive mood, just venture downtown, my friend, and you will catch the bug.

malita@observer.ug

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