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Going To Jamaica for Christmas

 I plan on going home for Christmas this year.  But for the first time it is with ambivalent feelings.

When I close my eyes, I remember all the warmth, love, happiness and joy of a Jamaican Christmas.  A white and cold Christmas can be nice but compared to a warm Jamaican Christmas? Priceless!!

While we no longer celebrate exactly the way we used to and furthermore, I am not there for the whole month of December when the preparations would start then – there are still plenty.  Attending church, dressing up and sitting down for Christmas dinner are still top of my list.

Just being there is all that’s important.  The ability to relax, tease and make fun of each other that only families know only too well exactly how to do.

Drinking sorrel, eating Christmas cake or pudding, ham for those of us who eat pork, we had stopped the turkey a long time ago but not the stuffing in an oversized chicken- talk ‘bout craven belly, seconds please.

Now added to the childhood family nostalgia are now grown up activities of visiting friends and hanging out with them at their homes for the ubiquitous Christmas drink up with the alcohol of your choice –  attending parties and concerts.  Oh, I usually try and catch the pantomime too and possibly a play or so.

It is definitely expensive and not a cheap affair starting from the airfare, the choosing of the presents on the States side and getting a few new outfits for all the activities.  I understand that there will be no Morgan Heritage Eastfest but Beres’ Moment In Time concert is being heavily promoted and for the diehard dancehall fans, Sting!

Then I open my eyes, and remember the recent abductions and killings of women and children.  I wonder if what I consider my “normal” activities will be curtailed?  But, I will take my cue from my family members who live on de “Rock.

I remember, and now this was some years ago… could be as far back as five or six – upon telling family members excitedly that I plan on attending an event in New Kingston and their reaction when they asked me how I plan to come home after and I said quite casually jump in a cab…. afterall, I live less than 15 minutes by car at 3:00 a.m. from New Kingston.  From then I have never taken a cab or used a company or driver not vetted by my family. 

But on the other hand, I’m now also quite used to renting a car and driving to and from country all by myself, especially Montego Bay or Portland.  In fact, I love it – I so enjoy packing up the car with snacks etc, looking forward to stop on the wayside to buy fruits and anything that suits my fancy –  breakfast at Faith’s Pen, buying fresh juice, listening to music, basking in the sun and fresh air as I drive around Jamaica’s countryside with or without company.

So word of advice to all please listen to your family members on de “Rock- tek dem advice, no badder wid de attitude of “dis cyan appen to me” – really and truly, it can happen to anyone.  With my faith and I am a firm believer that the Good Lord will take you wherever he wants to take you.  But do not throw caution out the window for Christmas 20Love – as declared by Jamaicans earlier this year – be careful, drink and drive responsibly, spree and party hard while being alert, enjoy Christmas on de ‘Rock – because like Movada I’m waiting for my Jamaican high to exhale “I’m on de ‘Rock!!!”

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Scatty