Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

Christmas Season Already?

My boss was rattled yesterday.  He got a phone call in the afternoon that some people broke into the house two doors down from him.

“The children and domestic were home alone,” he told me.  “Luckily they escaped out the back door.  The thieves left before the police got there.”

He told me another, similar story from a couple years ago.  Some men broke into a house and again, only the children and “domestic” were home.  The men killed one of the children – a toddler that couldn’t even talk yet.

This started a discussion throughout the office.  My colleagues agree that home invasions skyrocket from October to December as the Christmas frenzy begins.

“I won’t even go outside in December,” one woman said.  “Those scam artists know you’ve just gotten your Christmas bonus.  One will distract you while the other snatches your purse.”

“But October just began,” I protested.  “Christmas is still months away.”

“They still want to make sure they have enough,” she said.  “December is an expensive month – everyone is visiting and traveling.  People go crazy.” 

“It’s like something takes over the city,” my boss agreed.

Today the same woman and I walked to grocery store.  It was busier than usual and she said, “See?  The December rush is starting.”

And I thought Christmas season came too early in Canada!  I hate hearing carols on the radio in November.

It seems to me that people are exaggerating the insanity of ZA’s Christmas season, but I guess I’ll find out.  I just hope no one breaks into my home – it would be terribly disappointing for them.

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