7 Food Gifts Igbos Love to Exchange During Christmas

KayCee
By KayCee December 24, 2015 08:02

In Igboland, Christmas is the time to exchange gifts that people can actually use – eat. Here is a list of some of the food gifts we – Igbos – love to give out or exchange at Christmas.

Christmas isn’t just about the 25th of December, it’s also about the buildup and the days leading up to it. Soon and very soon, my Igbo brothers and sisters will start traveling “home”, the expressways will get busy and the hustle and bustle in major cities will slow down and a city like Lagos will have a calm atmosphere for this period. It is only during this period that the words “calm” and “Lagos” are allowed to be used in the same sentence.
But most importantly, gifts and hampers will start flying around, left, right and center! Oh Christmas in Igboland! You can see and sense the happiness in the air which translates to “money” in the air! It’s been a good year so there are bonuses, there is “13th month” pay, suppliers and contractors seize the opportunity to thank their benefactors and there is all around goodwill. No doubt, it is a very merry jolly season!

Talking about gifts and hampers, here is a rundown of the most popular Christmas food gifts you will find “flying around” around this season in Igboland!

1. Bags of rice
This has to be number one! Whether its employers giving this to their employees (and in some organizations, this might be considered the “Christmas bonus”) or family friends to family friends, children to parents. With our people’s love for rice, this seems to be an easy gift choice everyone wouldn’t mind having. Over the years, some of us have received enough rice to last one full year! Bring on the rice! Whether it is a full bag, half bag or quarter bag, be mindful who you are sending it to so that that half bag of rice will not be the reason you lose that contract in the New Year!

2. Cooking oil
Whether it’s a bottle, a gallon, a keg or a carton, one can’t go wrong with vegetable oil which usually accompanies the bag of rice! There is always a need to make stew or fry plantain or yam in every Igbo household so it is not difficult to see that this is a popular food gift option.

3. Meat
Live or frozen chicken, turkey, goat, ram and even cow are definitely food gifts you would find being delivered to homes this season! Yes o, we mean “homes” because no one will appreciate a live goat showing up in their office.

4. Bottles of alcoholic drinks
Whether this comes in a hamper, on its own or in a carton, a bottle or a carton of beer, wine, port, champagne or “hot drinks” aka liquors like vodka, gin, whisky, or my personal favourites at Christmas – cream, chocolate or coconut liquor, always make for a great gift. If you decide to give just a bottle, which is fine, make sure it’s a good one!

5. Crates of soft drinks
Crates of juice, soft drinks or fizzy drinks; this is a popular Christmas food gift you can’t go wrong with! Just know and remember the household you are giving those crates of fizzy drinks to, lest it be an “alcohol-loving” household!

6. Cake
Hmmm, I can write an epistle about this but I won’t. Simply put though, a cake, plain or frosted/iced is a lovely gift to give at Christmas but please, don’t just get any cake you see packaged in the market or roadside store just for the sake of gift giving because you do not want your “gift” to end up in the bin along with major beef for you! It makes sense to know the baker or at least, you should have tasted the cake and attest to its taste and quality. If you have it in you though, you could awaken your inner Martha Stewart and bake it yourself! A homemade gift always works!

7. Chin chin
We surely can’t talk about food gifts and not talk about chin chin. I think it is great gift to give a friend, neighbour or family (make it a large jar and make sure it is crunchy and delish!) because people always have more guests this season and a serving of chin chin with some peanuts and a drink is a great way to entertain in the absence of proper food. You will be appreciated for ensuring your friend, neighbor or colleague had chin chin handy!

Written By Dunu Okigbo

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KayCee
By KayCee December 24, 2015 08:02