By Tiana Cole
Christmas which signifies the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated on December 25 each year by Christian and non-Christians around the world. With Christmas comes a lot of sweet memories and numerous events to make my favourite time of the year.
As soon as the Christmas season approaches, I look forward to numerous activities. These include Christmas music, the masquerades, gift-giving, sharing of Christmas cards and most importantly, feasting and spending time with my family and close friends.
For me, the playing of Christmas music is one of the first indications that the season is approaching.
While there are lots of different categories of Christmas music, I tend to gravitate more to the religious genre which comprises hymns and songs sung in churches.
The most popular carols for me are those by Mavis Staples, an American rhythm and blues and gospel singer.
Every morning while travelling, these songs are played on the radio extensively to get persons to feel the ‘Christmas spirit.’
As you take a walk down the busy streets in Georgetown you are destined to see church members singing Christmas carols in public places.
Songs such as ‘Jingle Bells’, and ‘Here comes Santa Claus’ are two of my favourites.
Growing up I was terrified of the Masqueraders. I would usually run and hide whenever they were in my community, because I was scared of the ‘bull cow’.
Over the years I have learnt to appreciate each member of the masquerade band.
The masqueraders are a common sight on the busy streets around Georgetown and even in the different villages at Christmas.
The group comprises dancers, musicians, the cow, the devil, and various representations of women. They dress in colourful attire and are always ready to dance and interact with the crowd, especially children, who they captivate with their deft dance steps. They normally use drums, flutes, bottles and spoons to create the rhythm.
The entertained spectators would normally give them money.
As we all know, Christmas is a time for giving, and this is one aspect that I take very seriously. Around this time, people take gifts to relatives, friends and associates. Over the past years, I have been inclined to give to children, the elderly, and especially the less fortunate.
I would normally purchase toys and distribute them to children around my community.
My collection of Christmas cards has grown tremendously.
This year will be no exception. Being the complicated person that I am, my friends and family don’t know what to get me for Christmas. I would normally tell them that a Christmas card will make me happy. The reason I love Christmas cards so much is because I get to keep them and add them to my collection. I would read the cards over and over again and smile.
REDECORATING THE HOME
A tradition every Christmas time is the “breaking up” of the home. Then the house would be cleaned thoroughly. While I love seeing the finished product on Christmas morning, I must admit that I don’t take part because of allergies.
My sister and mother on the other hand would normally spend hours redecorating the home. While I don’t get the opportunity to take part in this aspect, my mom always allows me the opportunity to choose the Christmas curtains, which always cause a conflict between my sister and I.
Christmas is one of those times where families take the time to prepare different types of food, cakes and other goodies, not only for themselves but for friends, neighbours and associates.
I do not put much effort into the preparation aspect but I do put a lot into devouring as many meals as I can.
I have a pretty big family, so on Christmas Day we all congregate at my mom’s home, which is tradition.
Usually after having breakfast on Christmas morning my family and I would sit in the living room and reflect on how we spent the year. This particular part of our Christmas tradition is one that my sister Tiffany would boast about.
For instance, an extended family member would say “wow, the house looks beautiful” and my sister would use that opportunity to say
“Thanks, mom and I did it. Tiana played no part in the redecorating of the home because of her ‘self-diagnosed’ allergies.”
Every opportunity my sister gets she would use it to tell all our friends and family that I play little or no role in the Christmas cleaning and redecorating. At the end of the day, my sister and I share a special bond that cannot be broken.
As we celebrate this special holiday, loved by many people, young and old, please don’t forget the reason for the season…the birth of Jesus of Christ.
Have yourself a very merry Christmas.
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