Choc-a-bloc with Christmas

They say time gets shorter and shorter the longer you live. Your childhood seems to have been just yesterday while chunks of your immediate past are no longer important.

I believe this because Christmas comes around earlier and sooner each year. The best indication for me that the countdown to Christmas has begun is when women lug their children to town for their "Christmas".

The countdown begins with Spring when people paint their homes and buy furniture and all sorts of things. These they lug in the taxis to the discomfort of other commuters.

Taxis are not like ordinary or private cars, they are really beasts of burden. Women, especially, are the culprits who buy goods at the Indian shops. The downtown shops always have "going out of business" sales at the end of every month.

You know who is flush by the oversized laundry baskets, ironing boards, paint and big pots for the Christmas feast. It would not do for the mother-in-law to find her son's house empty.

Passengers, because of this ubuntu business, have to help the homemaker carry her unwieldy parcels. They are then rewarded with a blow-by- blow account of how the purchases were made, how long the woman saved the money, and how they will complement her colour scheme.

Then you have the second lot who buy oversized bags of chips, broken biscuits, sweetened popcorn or kiepkieps in lurid colours to keep their brood quiet during the holidays.

They do not care that these snacks have been blamed for the rise in ADD among school children. The kids clamour for them and the fond parents provide. That is what Christmas is all about.

I sometimes think these kiepkieps have something to do with these extraordinarily clever children who at seven years of age can count the change after buying two beers for their father or uncle or whoever. The beloved is then rewarded with a packet of kiepkieps.

The boastful father, who thinks his child is so clever, cannot understand why the child performs poorly at school. I think someone should research this phenomenon, instead of frightening us about drinking too much coffee.

The third and last lot are the mothers who farm out their children to the grannies in the bundus. These exiles return home at year end. They have to be kitted out as "clevers" so that the township gangs do not laugh at or bully them.

It is this clothes scavenger who tells me that I am late with my preparations for the festive season. It is the same scavenger who makes me despair each holiday period about the taxi associations.

The queue marshals do not give preferential treatment to their regular customers at this period.

Commuters are mixed up with aunties leading a train of six or seven children to the hot fashion spots in Jozi.