A weird Christmas in Zimbabwe

If you have been in Zimbabwe over the past couple of years you will know that bar 2008 which was almost the year of the devil, the Christmas period has been at fever pitch when it comes to festivities.

The excesses of last year alone were legendary. Essentially to a large extent there was a lot going and some serious spending. I remember seeing one man drop over USD2,000 on drinks for his friends at a pay party on one night.

Fast-forward a year later and the reality of the power of the United States Dollar has become all too apparent. The excesses are still there if you want to call them that. There are pockets of resistance which have been beneficiaries of some indiscretions of one sort or the other.

The tradition, the cheaper option has come back to life. People deserted the city and buggered off to their rural homes. Not many people will claim Harare as home really. They will give that as their home address but in reality it is just a place that is close to work.

So last night I took time out to have a look at the places that most people feel they can leave large deposits of money and fluids as well engage in some form of debauchery or the other and lo and behold there was not much going on. And by that I am being generous.

Yes there was a bit of defiance here and there but all in all people were a bit bored and I dare say boring as well.

I generally have an uneventful holiday period but this was a bit excessive even by dead men standards.

What is more, the religious aspect was almost missing. Even on my Facebook timeline, there was no rush of people talking about the supposed yet inaccurately placed birth of Jesus. I am not a religious person either way so it didn’t bother me but for a religious country like Zimbabwe it was amusing that even here secularisation of the holiday had taken root.

I didnt really see or care to see anyone. A few friends worked. Some went out of town. The rest are just at home watching TV.

Do they know it’s Christmas?