In Summary
  • Christmas was always about waiting with bated breath to see if the day would end without any of us getting beaten.
  • One of your uncles used to be whipped using an old, red sandal every other Christmas Day.
  • Some of us were good at hiding the Sh5 coin we would be given for church offering.

Dear Jijee,

Let your uncles and other relatives not cheat you that they used to be good people during Christmas when they were young.

I know they will soon be giving you loads and loads of stories on how to be a good boy during the festive season.

Well, listen to their counsel, but take their so-called personal stories with a pinch of salt.

DREADED RED SANDAL

One of your uncles used to be whipped using an old, red sandal every other Christmas Day. As sure as “boxing” follows December 25, he would always find himself on the wrong side of mum’s law, either by staying out with his peers for too long or neglecting his house chores.

Mum was not a respecter of holidays so when it came to 'exorcising' any of her children, she would always be there to deliver 42 of the best lashes using her red Bata sandal that had usually done 30,000-plus kilometres but was still cleaner than our new ones.

She would administer the punishment in the best way the University of Hard Knocks taught her, uttering judgement after every lash.

Because of the dreaded red sandal, which was sure to fall on anyone who veered off the right path, Christmas was always about waiting with bated breath to see if the day would end without any of us getting beaten.

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