Christmas in Jamaica is enviably different! OK, I admit, yes we engage in most of what the western world does but it's sorta sweeter here :-) keep reading and you'll understand what I mean.
The radio stations start playing carols quite early, sometimes as early as in October! My favourite radio DJ, Francois on Fame FM, is guilty of this.
We play all the popular carols that you'll probably associate with the western cultures.
But remember, Jamaica is the home of reggae music, so you bet; we also do them -reggae style!
Concerts and Parties
Christmas concerts are very popular leading up to the day, and they are in every area of public domain.
They are in the schools, in the community centers, the workplaces, the squares, and even some of the churches that once denounce the celebrations decades ago.
The parties are never ending!
Honestly though, that is my main problem with that time of the year- I tend to spend all my money way before the actual day!
And if all the concerts and parties were not enough, there are the Christmas Eve Balls and final parties the night before. Here the merriment continues until daylight.
Traditionally families go to the town areas and the cities on Christmas Eve-for nothing more than the lights and the thrill!
The traditional 'JohnKonnu"- An African inherited celebration brought by our ancestors, is not too popular in the city areas these days, but it too is quite exciting.
The decorations do start quite significantly early as well. Houses are painted and 'pepper lights', i.e. Christmas Lights as-we call them- goes up, even on trees!
But wait until Christmas morning!
You will see the most elaborate ornamentations. The newest curtains, table cloth, sheet sets etc. goes up!
But perhaps the most telling part of Christmas in Jamaica is the food!
Despite the poverty by many, everyone seeks to present the most elaborate, expensive and appetizing dishes on the table.
Curried Goat, Pork, Chicken, Oxtail, all served with Rice and Gungo Peas forms the entree!
Both requires special care to be done in time for Christmas.
Between the fun, food and frolic though, we never leave out the charity. Both individuals and corporations do share the Christmas spirit by giving.
My community club, the Retirement Sports and Social Club, sponsors an annual Children's Treat too. Many public and private sector companies donate freely to this cause at this time of the year.
By the way, I included a few of those Christmas treat pictures from last year on my main pictures page.
My favourite part of Christmas in Jamaica though is the family togetherness. The actual day is spent at home-usually at the family home with friends and families.
I can't wait for the family reunions at that time!
My uncle, Toney cherishes this time of the year. Myself and him kinda assumes the lead role, and the bigger costs :-), in the annual preparations.
Last year we chartered a bus and went to 'Little Ochie'. The food was awesome and we had the best of the best -and lots of it!
So you see, we have no snow nor chimney, but Christmas in Jamaica, while reflective - is a scintillating experience in Jamaica land we love!
And by the way, don't miss these informative pages about Jamaica
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 :-)
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