Number 1, be thankful that we live in a country that allows us the freedom to celebrate any and all holidays.

Choose 2 new local artisans to support throughout the year with your purchases.

Meet 3 talibés in your neighborhood and learn their names.

Plant 4 trees in your yard or neighborhood.

High five! FIDAK international market opens on December 5th. My top five things to buy each year: Malian bogolan fabric, Burkina baskets, Moroccan olives, Mauritanian Mehlafa fabric… and more Burkina baskets.

On December 6th, take a magical visit to the Atmosphère Christmas Market in Almadies for their St Nicholas Day celebration. It’s my favorite Christmassy spot in Dakar.

Choose 7 locally produced foods to incorporate into your cooking. Could be moringa powder, maad fruit, baobab fruit, naajo squash, fonio grains, bissap flowers, Casamance honey…

ICF’s family Christmas program is on December 8th from 10-11am! Carols and readings, with a short kids’ performance and spoken word by Gelisa George. (She’s opening the service so don’t be late!)

Buy 9 mini-calebasses and decorate them as ornaments. Keep some, give some!

Buy 10 reusable cloth bags and make it a habit to use them when you shop. Keep one in your car, one at work, one in your bag…

Ousseynou sells high quality wax print tote bags at Ngor Virage beach. 3 for 5000 CFA. Tel: 775082303.

Make wassail with 11 ingredients, all available in Dakar! 2 liters of apple juice, 1 liter of pineapple juice, 1 liter of orange juice, juice of 2 Casamance limes, 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 cloves. Simmer and serve!

Tip: Save the bottles from the juices and pour the wassail back in them after it has simmered and cooled. Cover with wax print fabric (#gluegun) and give as a gift!

Make a list of 12 things you want to do in Senegal next year, then do one per month.

Buy 13 baggies of peanuts to give to talibés.

Send an Orange Money donation to support the Ligue Sénégalaise Contre le Cancer via #144#626#. (That may have been a stretch for number 14, but you’ll allow it, right?)

Go for a 15-minute walk to explore an area you don’t often go. Maybe the Corniche road, up to the lighthouse, around Hann Parc or along the Corniche Est in Plateau.

Collect 16 plastic bottles and drop them off at the Ciprovis collection site at Dakar Academy West in Mamelles.

Take 17,000 CFA to the pharmacy and build your own Band-Aid & boo-boo bag, adding in some multivitamins for kids.

Collect 18 items of clothing to give to talibés or drop off at Samu Social in Ouakam.


Last day of school (for many) is the 19th of December! Put together gift baskets for your children’s teachers.

Check out these 20 Senegal-based Instagrammers and get inspired to do some very, very cool things over the Christmas break.

Pick up 21 pieces of trash.

Repeat #21 over again 22 times. 😂

Buy 23 bananas for talibés.

Make two dozen Christmas cookies! Bonus points if you use fresh bissap in place of cranberries.

Celebrate Christmas in true Dakar style on December 25th! Go to the beach and work on your tan. Eat chilled watermelon. Make peppermint ice cream with all those melted candy canes… Merry Christmas!