We all have relatives in the village, don’t we? Our grandparents, great-uncles, and older members of our family branch most likely live in the village or some rural suburbs outside of town; and it is also likely that our own parents retired from city life after their civil service and returned to the village.
If this is true, what are you thinking of giving them this Christmas and New Year period? This festive period is not the right time to buy large loaves of bread or some fancy margarine for your older folks back in the village.
And in case you’re really confused about what to buy for your old parents, grandparents, and other senior relatives in the village this festive season, we have helped you compile 10 things you might consider buying as gifts for them before you leave to celebrate Christmas/New Year in the village this year.
1. Christmas/New Year food items
If you’re returning back to your village to spend Christmas and New Year with your old folks, don’t you think it’d be great if you bought the bag of rice and carton of turkey that will be used for the celebrations? Do not forget that people in the village have a hard time getting by, so it’d be a great idea if you buy the whole food item that will be used for this festive period – that will be helping them out in trying to entertain their big children from the city!
2. New clothes and shoes
Have you observed that people in the village are not always as well-dressed as town folks? They are mostly farmers and hunters and craftsmen, so they wear whatever they find. But Christmas and New Year period come with chilling cold and harmattan, so you might consider buying your old folks some decent clothes, sweaters, and shoes to give colour to the festive period and to give them the proper chance to wear something new.
3. Walking-stick/Reading glasses
If your old folks back in the village complain of age-related ailments like arthritis and osteo-arthritis among others, then you might consider surprising them with a well-carved walking-stick to lean on as they walk. You can also surprise them with reading-glasses to make it easy for them to read the Bible, Quran, and other fine-print books.
4. Prescription drugs
Old people always need drugs to boost their ability to fight infections and to deal with some other age-related illnesses – so you could buy prescription drugs that are a little bit out of the financial reach of the old folks to help them out. Most old folks in the village complain of not having enough money to buy their prescription drugs, so you should consider doing something along this line before travelling home for the yuletide period.
5. Power generator/solar panels/batteries
People in the village lack electricity or adequate battery cells to power their transistor radios, but you could help out by buying a portable power generator or even installing solar panels if you have the means. But if you don’t have the financial capacity to install solar panels to generate electricity or buy a portable generator as gift to your old folks back in the village, then you may at least buy sufficient battery cells to power their radios to enable them listen to radio stations anywhere in the village or at farm.
6. Mattresses and pillows
Most villagers sleep on mats placed on the hard, cold floor; and this causes them to develop joint pains and sleep uncomfortably. But you could present your own people with gifts of mattresses and pillows as well as neat sheets to make them sleep more soundly and enjoy quality health all their remaining lives in the village.
If you have educated folks who retired back to the village after leaving the civil service, then gifts of good books and music CDs or movie DVDs would be excellent for them this festive period. They will appreciate it more if it is their favourite books or authors, and if it is some rare music or ancient film they have to watch on the DVDs.
It is true that people in the village weave baskets and make earthenware pots, but you can equally present them with specially-ornamented potteries you brought back from your travels around the world or which you picked up at an antique shop. These could be cane-chairs, crocodile-/snake-skin sandals, leather bags/pouches, porcelain dishes, and other handcraft items that would be invaluable to the village folks.
9. Rare wines
You will have noticed that old people in the village cherish good wines and quality alcoholic beverages – anything different from their usual palm-wine and local gins. So buying one or two bottles of good wines or alcoholic beverage may be a good idea before you set out for the village this festive season. This may not necessarily be hot drinks such as gins, but then even a good Schnapps’ would be appreciated in this harmattan period.
10. Mobile phone/digital cameras
It is quite possible that your village folks complain of not seeing you always, or not getting to speak with you when they desire to due to geographical distance, but you can remove this communication problem by giving them a good mobile phone this festive season. This does not have to be a smartphone, but any other good mobile device would be great. And you may also gift them with a digital camera to capture their village experiences and record their cultural events in the village.
11. Cash Bonus
Don’t you think your people back in the village need cash too? In fact, they would appreciate a sizeable amount of cash if you forget to buy them any other thing they expect of you; and you could still give them cash when leaving the village after presenting them with any other listed things you have bought.