Christmas holidays were my favorite moments in my entire childhood. It was the time everyone was ecstatic about everything and the only time I wouldn’t get punished for my wrongs. Everything had a gleam to it, the nights were clearer, the skies starrier and the sitting room was brighter with all the shiny decorations and multicolored balloons.
However, the thing I loved most was the crates of soda in the hallway; the wooden gifts filled with bottles of goodness from Father Christmas. That’s one of the stories an uncle of mine who worked for Coca-Cola would tell me when I asked If Father Christmas pays visits to homes upcountry. He told me that because the farms were far and wide, he would leave the crates of sodas in our dad’s offices then they would bring home and share with those he loves.
My mother did not have the time to be angry because most of her time would be spent in the kitchen making delicacies she didn’t have the time to make all year round. All sodas were meant to be taken during Christmas day or thereafter but my brother could not wait. He took advantage of that no-punishment period to engage me in his mischievous escapades. On this particular Christmas eve, he came up with an idea of how he was going to steal a soda then replace it with water but I had to be the one checking out the coast was clear.
Of course stealing is done at night or rather that’s how the movies wanted us to believe. We finished our dinner earlier than usual and scampered to our rooms. It was so intense I felt like I was robbing a bank. The crate wasn’t hidden so it was quite easy to pick up the coke bottle strategically separated so it could make the least noise. He headed over to his room but locked himself up. He still didn’t open after several knocks and I knew I had been ousted from the plan. I stood at the door imagining the cold soda gliding down his throat and I knew I had to revenge. So I told up on him. I was glad he shut me out, the beating he received was not to be forgotten.
Come Christmas morning, that would be the day I would wake up earliest or sleep the least hours (I started cultivating this insomnia habit quite early) simply because I never wanted to miss out on anything. The nights were filled with movie marathons as we waited for midnight. My favorite movie for a long time was Home alone and I never grew tired of it. It made more sense to watch it around Christmas because it filled the snow void. 😂 It felt like I experienced the snow by watching and re-watching.
Christmas brunch was the epitome of bonding. We all sat together and shared the meal amid conversations but you know how the “table manners” is ignored. I use to overeat hides then gulp some Coca-Cola which used to act as a belch inducer, gross, I know. The remaining coke would always be too much for me so I froze it thinking I’d have it as ice cubes much later but I would always end up sharing it among my siblings as payment for handing me the tray and helping with the removal from the Ice tray.
I would relate the experience to that of this Coke commercial I loved because it made me feel and rekindle all those things I felt about family and being together.