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It took me a quick trip to a department store to be gingerly reminded that the last month of the year has dawned on us again. Wow, wasn’t yesterday just December of last year? What happened to all the other months? Is it really the end of what was the New Year already?! And another new year is just around the corner. I’m thankful for seeing another December.

This is a notable month for benevolence that is marked by giving and receiving gifts. No month has the opportunity for doing good like December. And Retailers are taking full advantage of the hype of the season. Almost everywhere I go now, I see reds, greens, lights glittering and shimmering, accompanied by jingling songs featuring baby Jesus, Santa Claus, and a very popular Reindeer with a red nose. The aromas irresistibly drags us all back for a quick swim in the memory pool of yuletide, years gone by. Some of my memories traverse through dry harmattan weather to dreary white wintry mornings.

I confess this is a time I dislike going to any store. I’m amazed by people in trance buying stuff with reckless abandon. I’m even tired of hearing reminders about the reason for the season as if that reason goes on a vacation all other seasons. I, like most, am nauseated by the overdrive nature commercialization plunges into during December. Whether it is Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza or a simple holiday season you are sure to be taken advantage of by some Retailer, if you are not alert.  

December can also wreck a heart very quickly. It has an uncanny ability to excavate depressed feelings even though there is so much fan fare around. It is usually so for people with relational issues. As I write this, I just had a somber reminder. I went to post a birthday wish on a friend’s FaceBook wall only to be greeted by his ‘untimely’ death. I then found out it occurred last December.

For me, every December is the end of a beginning, and the beginning of the new.  Amidst the festivities, I take some serious time to ponder what happened the whole year. This is a sacred reflective ritual I initiated years ago. I take stock of my life and prepare myself for a fresh new year. Incidentally, every fresh year begins with my birthday (hint, hint!!) which I embrace as an opportunity to continue my journey of life into another year. How exciting!

So as you journey through December towards a fresh New Year, remember what matters most. Don’t go crazy with the spending; spend quality time with loved ones making lasting memories. Think about happy, meaningful endings, and beautiful beginnings! Make this December count!