It was air in motion, the sound was too soft to the ears and appealing to the senses. The air was quite crisp, dust-filled and ice cold. The moon-lit skies looked like the red night goblin was about to shower bars of chocolate and descend with his wrapped toys. The dry air Harmattan brought, felt like it could dry up a wet coat in seconds. Some sweet jazz Christmas music was playing in the background, Nat King Cole for sure. From the old turntable came the music, it was well mixed with the breeze thus presenting a never-before heard rendition of the song.

    Once again the breeze blew heavily, trying to have its way with the open crackling fire, which was blazing some metres away from the large hut. Earlier in the week, the cold North-East Wind had brought along some wild fire. One happy family was sitting around the fire. A man in turban and his wife with their handsome boy and cute little girl. All dressed in warm woolly glittering sweaters and thick trousers.

    They were all engrossed in what the father of the house was saying. The family almost forgot the wild fire had made them homeless and helpless, forcing them to settle for the large abandoned hut. In between, they seemed to be chewing something. Of course, roasted nuts from cashew in a flat plate. That was all they had left to eat. Also to their pleasure was the fine sweet smell of burnt firewood spiced with minty leaves, which was escaping from their fire. The story-telling father drank some fairly warm palm wine as he spoke. He was telling them tales/legends of christmas and santa from all over the world. Even the chewing horse relaxing next to the family, was enjoying the story-telling session.

    Soon he closed his story book, at that moment the record stopped playing. Together the whole family made and sang a remix of ‘the Christmas song’ replacing the first line with ‘Cashew nuts, eaten by an open fire’. Half way through the song, they heard a loud bang close to their hut, something had landed in front of it. It was a large box filled with the finest swiss chocolate, other yummies, gifts for the whole family and most of all, a map telling them about a place of hope along the West. On the right-hand side of the box was a large label with the words ‘From Santa with love’.

    The family, now relieved from the sudden heart-pounding sound and excited by the arrival of the gifts, cheerfully and gratefully they started their song all over. This time it sounded like a ‘reprise/outro’ to an epic album.

    This was the night before Christmas and Harmattan just got more harsh.

Happy Christmas!



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