It’s that time of the year again – the exams are over, and employees are twitching in excitement over bonuses. The streets are overflowing with energetic people who wash over every place of entertainment and leisure like a rainstorm. However, it is one of those heavy downpours that come to quickly pass: the energetic people are cut short of fun when January comes and proves to be a month with the trickery of a sly fox hiding another month within it.
Everywhere is the cayenne pepper, the dust flying into the air as kids dash barefoot on dusty roads, and the Chanel perfume oozing from the elegantly dressed ladies. Everywhere, everyone is lively. Students have forgotten about anything associated with school, employers are elated as business is booming, and employees excited over the prospect of incoming fat pay. It’s truly an exciting time, and most of us tend to act out recklessly, with little to no interest in the ripple effect our heinous habits have on the goals we set out to achieve the following year.
Stokvels are at their optimum as they pour out their entire yearly savings. Banks are flooded with agitated customers looking to withdraw all their money before every Tom, Dick and debit order comes collecting for a cut. December, a time of true extravagance. A time when a person is window-shopping and filling the cart to the brim. A time when one goes out with friends, breaking your budget. A time, when if you don’t bleed out your pockets on your girlfriend, you’ll either compensate yourself dry chasing different girls, or your girlfriend will likely run off with the ballers – and you’ll only see her January as she tells you about how an extended family member had passed and her phone was stolen.
The good thing though is the neighborly spirit that captivates and sweeps everyone under its spell. You see a party, you invite yourself in without having to RSVP, yet still get dished the finest savoury chicken breast. Even your grumpy uncle gives you a R100 note without asking you to complete a task first. And the most joyous thing is knowing that at times during this period, getting drunk at people’s expense is frequent, or at least I’ve heard.
But no excessive behavior goes unpunished of course. As when the noise dies out in January, many find themselves head first in muddy waters. Matriculants are quickly sent into spasms of panic as results draw near, and students worry at the prospect of having to go back to varsity, and some even face the abject reality of an exclusion – academically or financially. Parents start to grasp at thin straws, and turn to loan sharks for expenses regarding their children and other necessities, as most are now broke, with only transport money left. Most people start to invent reasons so as to stall paying rent. Everyone is least happy in Jan‘worry. As the old saying goes; too much fun is to one’s stability is what too much sugar is to the health of one’s teeth.
We ought to spare a thought for the future. Festive season is so long that we ought to use it as a time to learn what stifled the goals we set out for ourselves and failed to follow, a time to make ingenious plans for the coming year, like a villain in a blockbuster movie.
For learners, understandably overwhelmed with anxiety, festive season is a time to weigh every possible option with regard to their future, and to develop some ideas of what to do next. Varsity students also, can use this special time of extravagance to ask for donations towards tuition, and hustle their flexing family members whatever they can for registration.
Elders ought to start thinking about all the troubles they dance into when they already having debts as big as the circumference of the universe. YES, December is a period of fun and leisure, but don’t end up sinking your business, or landing up homeless, due to a momentary lapse in reason caused by the cacophony of the festive season.
In no way should you abstain from partying up a storm and spoiling yourself. But always remember to invest in the future. You don’t want Christmas season to serve as your parole, in which you commit innumerable offences that see you back into jail – the financial or academic issues you’re already battling to get over.
Tell us: do you agree with the writer that we should be cautious about spending too much in the festive season?