In the midst of prevailing hardships, Liberians will tomorrow, Friday December 25, join the Christian world in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the founder of their faith, following weeks of intense but downsized preparations for many.
Economic and other hardships such as weak spending capacity of consumers due to government financial constipation creating a cash flow bottleneck in a majority of business sectors, have left many feeling frustrated with the choice to make between wanting to enjoy the usual trappings of the season or saving the money for looming tuition, rent, transportation and other basic needs.
Liberians are grateful for their survival of the Ebola crisis and, whether well-to-do or not, realize that life must go on as they buy to share, and can manage to celebrate with or without the money.
“The town is dry,” is the common line this Christmas season, indicative of the trying economic times.
Many of the shoppers who spoke to the Daily Observer yesterday in Monrovia expressed gratitude for the day “because it brings joy and happiness to us.”
For Morris Blama, 28, as a result of the defeat of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD), he is overly happy for this day, adding: “This year is the best for me, and I believe for many others, compared to last year when Ebola transmissions were visible.”
Morris trades in children’s and adult’s clothes on Mechlin and Ashmun Streets in Monrovia. Some traders have seen disappointing sales due to poor buying capacity of consumers who they say are going for “cheapest, limited or none at all.”
Jebbeh Fahnbulleh, a businesswoman like many other marketers who sell at Water Side Market, said the harsh economic conditions which country is faced with has eroded the joy of this year’s Christmas in her mind.
“This year has not been good at all with me, but I thank God that my family is alive. Whatever we have on the day of celebration, we will manage to share with others,” she said.