What you need to know:
- Wanting to bring his A-game, Samba took a Sh200,000 loan against his Sh34,000 monthly salary and planned a four-nights, five-day getaway in Zanzibar.
- For Wanjiku, Christmas went as planned. Trouble came in January when she had all these debts she couldn't pay back and one of the debtors, a family friend, called her sister to demand his cash.
It's that time of the year when once again, in that spirit of keeping up with the Njuguna's, we gather our families together and exchange knowing looks on who managed to rake it big this year.
Some people have caved into this pressure to impress and made stupid decisions that cost them big time.
Five people share stupid things they have done at Christmas all to put up appearances:
The bad loan to impress 'girlfriend'
29-year-old James Samba is embarrassed to discuss the stupid thing he did last Christmas.
For months, James had been 'making eyes' at this gorgeous woman who worked in the same building as him.
He had asked her out on a few coffee dates, lunches and even drink outs. Christmas seemed like the perfect time to take this relationship to the next level.
Wanting to bring his A-game, he took a Sh200,000 loan against his Sh34,000 monthly salary and planned a four-nights, five-day getaway in Zanzibar.
His love interest was excited to go. In retrospect, he wishes that he would have discussed the expectations of the trip with her.
"I assumed that her agreeing to go out of town with me for close to a week meant that she wanted to sleep with me. I booked one room for us. She hit the roof when we got to the hotel and called me names for thinking that she was a loose woman. My God!"
She stormed out of the hotel and flew back home on the ticket he had bought with his loan and proceeded to rant on social media about how men these days have no respect for women.
He stayed on, of course, not wanting to waste all this money he was going to pay back.
He spent Christmas day drunk, alone and heart-broken. He is still repaying the loan and had to move to a small house.
"Before you take her out of town, just make sure you are on the same page," he warns other men who might be thinking of splurging on a trip this Christmas.
The non-existent business
Imagine that you are the black sheep in your family. The one that keeps making career decisions that worry your parents.
Like the average Kenyan parents, yours like to compare you to your very high achieving siblings.
They question why you quit your job to start a business, but you are headstrong. Then, in August your business collapses.
Charity Wanjiku, 33, found herself in this predicament two years ago.
Instead of coming clean to her family, she did everything she could to make it seem as if her pharmacy business was still thriving.
"I took loans, bought some new clothes and gifts for everyone that Christmas. Then I swore my niece who had visited and found out the truth to secrecy," she recalls the ruse.
Christmas went as planned, her parents were proud of her. Trouble came in January when she had all these debts she couldn't pay back and one of the debtors, a family friend, called her sister to demand his cash.
"Everyone found out and my parents reminded me how they had warned me about quitting my job. I felt stupid," she says.
The fake relationship
You have seen those memes on, 'Rent a boyfriend for Christmas'? It rings true for some.
Nkatha, a 34-year-old social media manager, felt the pressure when her relationship with her live-in boyfriend began crumbling.
By the time it got to December, the relationship was practically over and her boyfriend with whom she has a daughter had even moved on to another relationship.
"Both of my older sisters have had church weddings and when I was with my boyfriend, my mother always complained about how they are yet to get even a goat on me. I took this break up as a personal failure. How could I go home?"
Instead of going home, she showed up at her ex's, baby on the hip, on Christmas day.
Her 'man' was there alright but he had also brought his new woman home to meet the family.
"I had travelled across the country and I couldn't travel back the same day so I stayed. It was the most awkward day. Those feelings of shame and rejection I felt that day also helped me move on from that relationship."
The borrowed car
For many Kenyans, owning a car is a sign that financially, one has 'arrived'. The bigger the car the better one is presumed to be doing.
Someone on a WhatsApp group shared how this man drove his boss's big car to Kisumu to impress his village mates.
The issue is, he had not thought about the fuel this car was going to consume.
Apparently, by the time he got to Kisumu from Nairobi, the vehicle had consumed all the cash he had on him so he abandoned it there and took a bus back to Nairobi.
36-year-old Maurice does not have access to his boss's big car so he hired a big car from a car hire service during his sister's wedding in August last year.
She was getting married to a man from a wealthy family and he was just trying to make a good impression on his sister's behalf.
"My parents were excited to see the big car; I ferried the bride. When they asked whether I had upgraded, I said I had," he said.
The problem came in December because he now couldn't go home with his small car.
He had to go back to the car hire for the big car this time using the Christmas rates. "I was so broke in January I couldn't pay some of the bills. What's worse is the truth still came out."
The house party in the borrowed house
Telling a lie is easy, it's the subsequent lies that you may need to tell to keep this lie up that are an issue.
Most Christmas lies told to the family are well-intentioned – most people that lie are just trying to get their family to be proud of them.
A few Christmases ago, Dora, now 35, knew no better way to get her mother to be proud of her than to throw a party for her family and a few cousins and aunties. The only problem was, she lived in a tiny flat.
"It was a spur of the moment thing. I asked a friend who was travelling and who had a bigger, well-furnished house if I could use it to host a few friends; she agreed."
So she invited her family over and bragged about how she was renting this three-bedroomed maisonette and she was considering buying it.
Her family enjoyed it so much that they wanted to come back during Easter. Cornered, she lied that she was traveling for work.
"They still do not know the truth. I am doing a little better now financially but I am nowhere close to affording a mortgage on such a house. I have told too many lies, ignored too many phone calls to keep it up."