Famous for producing athletes like Shelly Ann Fraser and Usain Bolt and also the home of the late Robert Nesta Marley, Jamaica is one of the most unique islands in the Caribbean. While Jamaicans celebrate Christmas at the same time as most people around the world, the flavor they add to the celebration is far different from most places.
Here are a few of the dos by Jamaicans at Christmas time:
Generally, Jamaicans are all about perception and having a clean home is very important. Before decorating, householders do what one could call winter cleaning. Old items are usually packed away and new sheets, table cloths, towels, and curtains are put up all around the house in preparation for a big Christmas family dinner or simply having guests over. Winter cleaning also means adding fresh coats of paint to the house, replacing broken latches or windows, and new furniture is purchased.
Christmas Tree and Decorations
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without decorations. Home improvement stores and wholesalers are filled with Christmas decorations around this time. Along the street of Kingston as well as other towns freshly cut pine trees can be seen for sale on display. Stores and householders start decorating as early as the first week of December and sometimes enter friendly competitions to see whose home or store front will look the best.
The local media are also in the act of the Christmas spirit early as they will start the airing of Christmas songs and advertisements in November immediately after Thanksgiving — yes, Jamaicans do celebrate Thanksgiving! Jamaican carols are also featured around this time too and usually include fun songs reminiscing on Christmas time in the past in Jamaica.
Giving back to the less fortunate
The fact that it is it is the season of giving, companies and individuals all over Jamaica give back to the community and charities. Boxes of toys, clothes, and food items are being taken to different charities to share with some of the less fortunate in Jamaica.
Jamaicans sure know how to have fun, and it is no surprise that around the Christmas time there is a different party every night. Whether it is an office party or a regular party that is opened to the public, they all have one thing in common, people, food, liquor and music. The once lonely streets come alive during the season while party goers enjoy themselves and party promoters smile at the success of their event.
Finally, Christmas Day comes the day everyone is waiting for. On Christmas Day, everyone is given a task that they have to see through until the day ends. Each task leads up to the big finale, Christmas dinner. Around the table you will find dishes like fried chicken, curried chicken, curried goat, soup, potato salad, corn, breadfruit, rice to name a few. This is the time to catch up with your extended family. Everyone is usually well dressed for the occasion and dressed in colors to reflect the Christmas season. Children are usually playing in the house or in the yard while the adults engage in a group conversation.
Readers Bureau Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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