12 Christmas Things

No exotic travel photos to post here this year this Christmas. We stayed home for a change, hung out with great friends, saw the high-brow Smuin Christmas Ballet, the low-brow “Oy Vay in a Manger.” And listened to this Sarah McLachlan cut more times than I care to admit.

But, hey, you interested in a dozen things I remember about [tag]Christmas in Jamaica[/tag]?

  • ♦Wearing a light sweater as the sweet Christmas breeze fluttered my hair, lifted my summer dress high over my head.
  • ♦An extravaganza of nodding Poinsettias in the front yard, every plant bent over over from its floral burden.
  • ♦A spindly Christmas pine, its crooks stuffed with cotton snow, branches badly garlanded with cheap, fat, garish, ugly, gold tinsel.
  • ♦A parade of [tag]Jonkunnus[/tag] dancing and prancing around on stilts, every mother’s child scared and hiding behind a grown-up.
  • [tag]Fee-Fees[/tag], a short length of bamboo attached to a balloon and a dyed, down feather; the pretty balloon whistles as it inflates/deflates. [tag]Squibs[/tag], the Jamaican name for firecrackers. [tag]Starlights[/tag], which are sparklers.
  • ♦Sharing the luxurious treat of polished “American” Red Delicious apples with skins that had an exquisite, vaguely nail-polishy aroma.
  • ♦Ruby-stained fingertips sore from picking prickly [tag]Sorrel[/tag] petals for the traditional Christmas drink.
  • ♦The tradition of braided rolls and cream of pumpkin soup my mother started when our family dwindled to five people.
  • ♦Rum-soaked [tag]Christmas Pudding[/tag] served on fancy, cut-glass side plates.
  • ♦Being all teary because Santa had forgotten to bring the presents I’d seen unwrapped in my parents’ bedroom.
  • ♦A molded plastic dolly I named Dennis. The smell of his adorable little slip-off plastic shoes.
  • ♦A taxi stops at our gate, a foot keeps the car door open for the time it takes to pay the fare, and out comes unexpectedly–my big brother who lives in Paris!
  • ____________________________________________

    www.jcdc.org.jm/jonkunnu_characters4.htm
    www.jamaicans.com/cooking/seasonal/sorrel.shtml
    www.basic-recipes.com/xms/de/jamaicanpudd.htm

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