Old Time Christmas In Jamaica
by Cultural Icon - Faye Ellington

subscribe here if new
Custom Search




What was Christmas In Jamaica really like? 

I was moved by this video by Aunty Faye!

Despite the fact that it was Pat (Patricia Lewis), one of my ardent subscribers, who sent me this video (yeah it was the actual video file), I hesitated opening it, and you'd probably understand why with so much scam and spam going online.

But I opened, and, it, made, my, day! (Noticed the pause between the words)

Old Time Christmas In Jamaica - Video (Part 1) 

New! Click Here To Watch Part 2 (Below)

New! What's Your Best Memory Of Old Time Christmas In Jamaica? Please share it with us here! Others can't wait to hear.

There she was, my hero and one of the most revered Jamaican cultural icon, Faye Ellington (Aunty Faye), reminscing about old time Jamaica!

The entire 6 minutes and 33 seconds, resonated with me, well except the Johncunnu band!

Of course, I couldn't keep it to myself - I had to share it with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are my main takeaways below.

But one item really had me smiling ear to ear... wanna guess which one?

I'll tell you below :-)

  • The Fruits 'come eeen'!
    Meaning fruits are in season!


    She mentioned the tangerine, the gungo peas and the Christmas peas. I'll also drop in sorrel! That Christmas peas, by the way, is what we (in Westmoreland) called the Jerusalem peas.

    I noticed that it is still at our family home - I will certainly try and have some this year!

  • Cleaning out of the cabinet!

    And we took pride in it! Everything came out and washed. All the crockery! Plates, cups, forks and saucers! Some of which was never, and will never be used!

  • Cleaning the lampshade (Home Sweet Home)

    There might have been all types of lampshade (for the kerosene oil lamps), but 'the lampshade' is the home sweet home'. That had to be cleaned thoroughly too.
home sweet home lampshade
  • Fatting up the fowl!

    We had that too! And my uncles and bigger cousins can probably relate to that more, during my growing up though I notice that  my grandparents trended toward what we called, the 'Bog Fowl'.

    Those are the older layers that are sold by the big chicken farmers in Bog (a community in Westmoreland). 

    I remember us getting up in the wee hours of the morning and walking miles to Bog (yeah the community is actually called Bog) to buy the chickens - you should see me with my town, one under each of my arms!

  • Cleaning up the yard and whitewashing the gate/tree trunks!

    From top to bottom, from front to back!
    We took extra pride at Christmas in cleaning our surroundings.

  • The Christmas Cards on a string!

    This is the one that cracked me up!

    If Aunty Faye didn't mention it, I probably would have forgotten this practice - seriously!

    Yeah, all the Christmas cards from family and friends were hung on a string (above head) in the living (the hall) area. 

    And this includes cards from last year, the year before and several other years prior. The ones from Aunt Estell (from England) always featured prominently; they actually looked more expensive too! 

  • And yes, the Carols!

    Aunty Faye mentioned 'Chrismus a come mi wah mi Llama' and that is perhaps one of the most popular - even today!

  • The coconut floor brush!

    We mentioned the deep cleaning at Christmas but we have this floor brush right througout the year. For some reason though, it clean even shiner at Christmas :-)

  • The Johnconnu dance!

    This is probably my only disappointment as a child. I never experienced it then, but I've seen it relived quite a few times, even recently at First Dance Studios' Timeline drama presentation recently in Montego Bay.

  • The Food - yum, yum (or should I say daa?)! 

    Yes, Rice & Peas & Chicken, pork, curried goat (usually a ram goat is killed), fruit cake and yes, sorrel!

    But bear in mind that these are had right throughout the season - not just Christmas day!

And did I tell you that we 'feel' Christmas coming without even knowing the day or month. 

Yeah, us Jamaicans can tell you, just by the look and feel of the atmosphere outside - it seems the tranquil breeze and the dimmed sunlight blends nicely to create this effect. 


What about me?


Well, I have a lot of great childhood memories of my Jamaican Christmas - in addition to all that Aunty Faye mentioned!

From the school fair in Salem (which we saved from from selling pimento seeds) to aunt Gloria coming from the market - with the smell of the market seasonings in the basket filling the air, and from the toy trucks to the fefe and toy waterguns we couldn't wait to get by grand market night!

But perhaps the most memorable moments of old time Jamaican Christmas for me are the days when we were playing in the tall grass below our house - probably hide and seek. These usually get really tall at Christmas time too.

And while playing, I could smell the captivating aroma of the soups, curried goat and fried pork emanating from our outdoor board kitchen.

And by the way, do you remember that blue soft 'vinsen yam'?
That was one of my favourite! I'm salivating while I talk with you right now :-)

Ahhhhhhhhh, the memories!

Old Time Christmas In Jamaica (Part 2) by Faye Ellington

Thanks for the wonderful memories Aunty Faye, you are certainly a beacon for Jamaica - keep shining!

What was Old Time Christmas In Jamaica like for you? Please share it with us here! We can't wait to hear!

Remember The Good Ole Jamaican Christmas?

Our friendly Jamaican online community can't wait to hear from you?

Where do you start?

C'mon, don't make it so complex....just start typing as the memories comes to you.

It's that simple :-)

Ready?

[ ? ]

Have Photos?
(I looooove pictures). Click browse to upload! [ ? ]

 

Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

 submission guidelines.


(You can preview and edit on the next page)

See Also: Jamaican Christmas Music

Back to Top of Old Time Christmas In Jamaica

Make sure you subscribe to my free monthly e-zine My Island Jamaica Digest (MIJD) and stay with the latest from Jamaica!

Ready For A Good Laugh? Click Here For The Best 'Belly-Busting' Jamaican Jokes! Please Also Click Here To Share Your Own!

Great Articles You Might Have Missed

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
wellesley gayle 2017

Was The Information Helpful?

Great! Please help me get the message out by sharing with your friends on social media (links below)

You are also welcome to join my special friends list and receive exclusive updates (like this), tips, trivia and stories from lovers of Jamaica! Just enter...

Also connect with My-Island-Jamaica.com on Social Media: 
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

Thank You!

Need More Help?

We have a cherry list of top Jamaican companies that might be able to help you. Please click here to see them, our preferred partners and site sponsors.

copyscpe
Top Of Page
Wellesley Gayle

What's New? Click Here And See

SEARCH THE SITE



Site Sponsors

jamaica_click_down_here_visit_our_sponsors

Our Preferred Sponsors (below)

(Our Sponsorship Policy)

Photographers in Jamaica
Wedding Photographers
Jamaican Souvenirs
Best Jamaican Souvenirs Cars For Sale In Jamaica
Cars For Sale

Click Here to Visit Our Sponsors' Page

Did You Miss These?

What's New?

Below is a list of the very latest articles I posted on the site.

Recent Articles

  1. Jamaica Pictures - Memorable Pictures From Jamaica!

    Jan 16, 18 11:20 PM

    If you are looking for a collection of Jamaica pictures, check here. From Sunsets and nature to food and culture, we have them all here.

    Read More

  2. Traditional Jamaican Dances - 10 Popular Jamaican Folk Dances

    Jan 15, 18 11:23 PM

    Here is a list of the ten most popular traditional Jamaican dances - the ones from way back :-)

    Read More

  3. Traditional Jamaican Dances - A Proud Cultural Legacy

    Jan 15, 18 11:00 PM

    Dance has, and probably will always been a integral part of our culture and lifestyle. Here's a background into our traditional Jamaican dances.

    Read More

  4. Jamaican Poems - These Are The Best - In My Opinion

    Jan 15, 18 10:36 PM

    These are my top picks - my favourite Jamaican poems! And now you can also share your own masterpiece

    Read More

New!  I've created a Welcome Audio. Just click the Play button below to listen.

Please subscribe here to get my latest updates.