I hate holidays just as much as every other hard working Nigerian should. Not only because I spend my hard earned money on frivolities but also because I get time-off work and don’t know what to do with it. The most difficult thing, after dipping your hands in soapy water, is definitely shopping for Christmas. You have to separate your friends into categories, go shopping for hours and if you’re really having a shitty life, you might even have expectations from some of your family members. I know this feeling.
Here are few hacks to see you through this difficult moment:
The shopping [c]art
In a classy exhibition of 21st century foolishness people look out for deals on how to save their hard earned money by spending it. This season, you will hear save 25% off, Buy-one-get-one-free etc. Don’t be fooled. The only way to save your money is by not spending, it’s that simple!
There’s a big difference between the way stores treat us at Christmas and the way they treat us the rest of the year. In March, June or September, you walk into a store and a salesperson comes up with, “May I help you?” the story changes as soon as sales peak and human traffic thickens you will need more than your mere presence to get the attention of any sales attendant this time; if you attempt to make away without paying then you will know how attentive of your presence they are.
Your best shopping guide this season is to make a list of all those you think you owe something tangible, then go ahead and make a reason that disqualifies them from receiving anything from you. Your list should look something like this:
Tier 1: these are your “close” friends; you always have to buy them the real gifts. If you don’t, you might as well get new friends because they won’t forgive you. The rule of thumb here is to find something that you really want for them, and then find any excuse, tenable excuse I mean, not to buy it. Jam your ATM card, go to prison just anything that is more pitiful than you actually buying them anything. There is a peace that comes after this experience.
Tier 2: Co-workers. You see them every day. This is like a membership club. You don’t really care what they think, but you want to renew your membership anyway to keep things running smooth. The price? Relatively cheap: a chocomilo cube per person or a virtual greeting card can easily add up; Hell, no! You’re not gonna spend your money on them? How can you forget mails without responses, unwarranted memos from HR, the parking space challenge, the water dispenser gossips and of course, the fact that you’re not being paid well because someone among them receives too much.
Tier 3: These are your back-up friends. They’re people you either went to school with or worked with, and every once in a while when you’re desperate you’ll hang out with them. You don’t really have the best chemistry and they sometimes cling to you for a couple of weeks, it’s not worth it. Best to avoid, but if you have no choice, send them an SMS, of course it has to be free from the network. If not, that’s enough reason not to do it.
This is the first installment of Christmas shopping series, enjoy!