01 02 03 Africa Expat Wives Club: Credit Crunch Christmas 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Credit Crunch Christmas

I don't know if it is me or if the Credit Crunch is to blame, but I'm finding it hard to get remotely Christmassy this year.

I must admit that in Kenya we have thus far been cocooned from the full credit crunch impact but there are signs that it is coming our way as the local news has been dominated by announcements of further price hikes in water, food, fuel and school fees effective from early next year. The shops are busy enough, but then I have never seen a particularly crazy pre-christmas shopping buzz here in Nairobi. Today my search for christmas wrapping paper at our biggest supermarket chain proved futile as I was told that it was not in stock yet.

Here in East Africa we are spared from the onslaught of relentless Christmas marketing via the media and accompanying christmassy cold weather (the sun is blazing), but it is more than that; never have I felt so disinclined to spend money on plastic tat, video games or other miscellaneous things that my children might secretly be hankering after. (Bless them, they have been remarkably undemanding thus far.)

Yesterday, a friend of mine was cajoling me to write a Christmas shopping list but I resisted saying that I couldn't yet get my head around it. I am lucky enough to have three children, ten nieces, a nephew and between my husband and I, four godchildren. To be honest with you, I'm panicking!

We have another big Christmas Craft Fair this weekend at the Ngong Racecourse. I intend to approach it like a hard nosed business woman leaving crying children at home because they would be too much of a distraction on my mission of bagging 24 suitable and worthwhile gifts.

On the upside, my husband has also treated me to a Safaricom 'dongle' that should work wonders in speeding up my Internet connection. Online shopping beckons....weakly...

Is anyone else feeling like me or am I alone in failing to suppress my negative, lackadaisical attitude? At this point, faced with the mammoth Christmas present shopping challenge, I am sorely tempted to take to my bed until New Year. 'Bah Humbug!'

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