Whether your Christmas tree is real pine or the kind you get at a store; whether you string lots of lights or prefer to party and visit with friends, for many of us, there is no time quite like Christmas. Yup, the yuletide season is one for family, friendship and freeloading, as we forget all our problems and immerse ourselves in the joy and best wishes that are shared in abundance. Even people you do not like, you generally can tolerate come Christmas time, as once a year we do our best to be our best and let the Christmas ketch us in a good mood.
Festive and jolly
There are a million and one reasons to be festive and jolly come Christmas time, so let us explore a few that ring true for our island home. See if you agree and think about things that you can add to the list.
1. The lights
Despite the Jamaica Public Service acting like Grinch to steal our Christmas spirit, there is still nothing quite like a house and yard all decorated with dozens of lights strung up in a pattern and well-lit at night. Back in the day, we would drive around posh neighbourhoods just to admire the light displays that warmed even the coldest of hearts.
2. The food
It should be number one, but we did not want to appear unnecessarily greedy. If you do not like sorrel, glazed ham, gungo rice and peas and a thick slice of fruit cake, then please to return your Jamaican citizenship as soon as possible! First of all, no one diets during Christmas, and if you know you really love your belly, wear jeans with elastic waistbands to accommodate the holiday excesses.
3. The music
I still want to know if Santa Claus comes to the ghetto and why I didn’t get new front teeth for Christmas. From cheerful carols to funny jingles, nothing hits home like that happy Christmas-themed music.
4. Grand Market
Even when you have no money, you still want to walk the streets and see what new stuff comes out each year. Seeing toys, treats and trinkets laid out in abundance and knowing how grateful those in receipt will be, is enough to make you want to do it all over again.
5. Christmas cleaning
Spring cleaning is cool, but Christmas cleaning is usually at a whole other level, as the curbs are whitewashed, the trees are trimmed, all curtains are taken down and replaced with new ones plus fancy sheets are ironed to brighten the room. You get the good plates and glasses out of the back of the cabinet, as company is coming, and we doing it up in style. Everything is moved and cleaned, and if we could catch the dog and the cat, we would wash them too!
6. The parties
Whether it be house parties or big ticketed events, Christmas parties are usually lit and loaded with fun.
Everybody who can afford a ticket is likely to come home for the holidays. Not only is the cold annoying, but Christmas ‘a yard’ beats whatever they got going on over there.
8. A country run
Now if you come from the ‘country’, you have to load up the car and head out to see mamma or granny and make ensure that their holidays are just as nice. Sleeping in your childhood bed and helping to shell gungo peas and go ‘a grung’ with uncle to dig potato to make the salad is what Christmas country life is about. Plus, no matter how grown you get, they still expect you to get up Christmas Sunday and go to church with them.
9. No work, no responsibility
The fact that it is a certified holiday – away from the demands of work – is a joy that everyone who works 9 to 5 cherishes and revels in. Sleeping in and staying up late, especially if one of the days fall on a weekend so you get an extra play day, is nothing short of priceless.
10. The presents
It is always better to give than to receive, but getting gifts can never get old, especially if you have been hinting for months that you want something and actually received it. Plus, everyone gets a special warm feeling in the pit of their stomach when they see a child tear wrapping paper and squealing in joy as their euphoria is contagious, and that is what the holidays are all about.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of BUZZ or its employees.