When I was a child Christmas was a big event for me. I grew up in the Caribbean. We did not have the four seasons, as the weather was hot all year. Christmas was the time when we did our “Spring cleaning.” The homes were painted, new curtains at the windows, the house was cleaned up inside and out. Everything was shiny and new. People saved up money all year to go shopping. The stores in the town would be crowded, and everywhere people were laughing and happy. We had no snow, but the outside of the homes would be swept and we would scatter sand and marl all around.
The best part were the sounds of Christmas. Carols would be played on the radio beginning in October, and various village and church choirs could be heard rehearsing. There were the smells of Christmas as well. The baking of delicious cakes and bread, ham, meat and the making of favorite drinks, Sorrell, ginger beer and mauby.
The highlights of Christmas were getting new clothes, and going to 5 am church service on Christmas morning. After church, we went to the park to meet our friends and listen to seasonal music played by the Police band. Then it was home, to enjoy the biggest dinner of the year with friends and family.
The Poinsettia is the flower of Christmas. It would begin to bloom around October and everywhere would be a sea of red. Living in a large metropolitan country like New York the emphasis of Christmas is more secular than religious. I miss all of the “getting ready for Christmas,” that we did when I was a child. Four years ago I was back home for Christmas and yes all of the magic was still there. I feel the nostalgia every year when Christmas rolls around.