For the Onazi family, it was a case of double take during the Christmas yuletide, as their son Ogenyi Eddy also celebrated his birthday on Christmas Day, and it was a joyful reunion for the family.
The SS Lazio and Nigeria midfielder made it in time to come see his family during the Christmas break as the Italian Serie A had already gone on winter break, which gave the former U17 star a much needed break to take his mind off football.
Supersport.com was invited into the Onazi's home to celebrate the players' birthday and to have Christmas dinner with the family.
The atmosphere was exciting as family and friends were feted by the matriarch of the home, as Madam Onazi (Ogenyi's mother) made sure all went well and everyone was well taken care of.
Onazi who spoke to supersport.com at the family home, was really happy and thankful for such family time because of the hectic and jet speed lifestyle that is associated with professional football.
"It's a wonderful feeling to be back home in Nigeria to be with my family again to where it all started, meet with old friends and generally make people happy," he said.
"I've had a hectic first half of the season and I'm grateful for the little I achieved. Now it's time for me to relax and take my mind off football for a while.
|Andrew Randa after the interview with Eddy Onazi|
"Family is everything to me, this is where the real Onazi dwells, many can only relate to me as Onazi the footballer. These people here relate to me as Onazi, the brother and son. For me that's refreshing.
Onazi, who turned 22 on Christmas day, also used the period to give back to society and contribute his own quota to make others smile during the holidays.
"I'm grateful for where I am today. I'll never take that for granted, and that's why I try my possible best to give back to the community, to make others smile and be happy.
"I donated some kits to our victorious Golden Eaglets at Abuja some days back courtesy my sponsors Lotto ( Italian Sports Kits firm) and also visited the home based Super Eagles to encourage them to go all out at the Chan tournament.
"I also hope to continue to help the younger ones in every possible way to achieve their dreams."
The player also spoke about his aspirations for 2014 and how he wants to be the best in the World and also help the Super Eagles if he makes the World Cup squad.
"By God's grace everything is possible, God is the one that knows the future, but he said ask and it shall be given.
"I want to be one of the best in the World and to help Nigeria achieve greatness." he enthused.
The Onazi family is a close knit one as evidenced by the ambiance that permeated laughter and banters all around during the celebrations.
Mummy Onazi is an extremely homely woman, who is dedicated to her children as she also revealed to supersport.com how she encouraged Eddy when he first started by buying him kits and even registering him for competitions during his youth days in Jos.
|Chatting with Mummy Onazi|
Rather unusual for an African mother who would have probably stopped her child from participating in sports, but her case was quite different and she says she is not even surprised but grateful that he has made it this far.
One interesting fact about the Onazi family is that there is a general consensus that If anyone was going to make it in football, then it would have been Ogenyi's older
brother Oche Thompson Onazi.
Oche was the one everyone thought had the skills to make it to the op and Eddy himself feels his older brother is a better footballer than he is and If not for unforeseen circumstances would have made it as a professional footballer.
Supersport.com also spoke to other members of the Onazi family and they had very nice things to say about
Oche Thompson Onazi (Brother)
"Eddy is my younger brother, I'm very proud of him and his achievements so far, they sky is the limit for him.
"He is a very passionate person, he is passionate about football, and I was not surprised by his progression from the U17's to the Super Eagles.
"I was proud when he was part of the team that won the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. The sky is the limit for him.
Agbo Onazi (Brother )
"Eddy is my immediate younger brother who is loved by all. If you are round him you will feel his presence. He is a comedian as you can attest. He is a lovely character.
"He is not the only footballer in the family, I and Oche also played. Infact Oche was the first to start playing football, but an injury stopped him. But it is God's will that Eddy is the one that made it so far. I'm very happy for him,"
"Eddy has always been here for the family, we were overjoyed when Nigeria won the Nations Cup, we never thought in a million years a family member will be part of history with Nigeria. God has been good to us,"
"It will be a great privilege if my younger brother will be part of the Nigeria to the World Cup in Brazil, it will be wonderful for him
and the family."
Eddy Onazi is the last child in a family of four. The Lazio midfielder has 3 other siblings,all boys.
The Former U17 star use to score bags of goals during his youth days in Jos, and during 5-aside tournaments in Plateau organized by PRTV, Jos.
His mum calls him "Eni" around the house while growing up.
The former My People FC star could have made a career in comedy, he is the official jester of the Onazi family.
The midfielder has a sporting kit contract with Italian sportswear firm Lotto.
His biggest dream is to be the best footballer on earth and also to help less privileged people.