Reflecting on Christmases Past And Present
For a significant number of Jamaicans, Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning; instead, it has become less about Christ and more about partying, visiting family etc. With this in mind, The Sunday Gleaner tried to ascertain what differences our artistes have seen as it relates to Christmases past and present.
I miss the scent of the real Christmas tree. Back then it was an exciting time as a youth. I couldn't wait for Christmas day for the gifts and Christmas meal, but now, its just only bills.
Christmas for me is just the same because I still stick to the traditions - putting pepperlights on the house, decorate the Christmas tree with my kids, draw my sorrel etc. My friends have changed and can't be bothered to do the traditional stuff anymore, but I guess because of my kids, Christmas is still the same at my house. However, I can see that the community has changed. Back in the days, Christmas was in the air so much that you could actually feel it - you would hear the songs and everywhere would be lit up and decorated, but now it's somewhat different.
Twin Of Twins:
In the past, Christmas used to be firmly rooted in spirituality. It was a time when we spread good cheer to our fellow men. The reason for the celebration, related to faith or belief in God, whether we were Christians or non-Christians. I believe that over time, the advent of technology eroded the traditional values people considered priority, resulting in the God-less society we see today, where the focus is on self rather than community. Most people consciously or subconsciously don't believe in God anymore, hence the loss of appetite for a season that celebrates a notion that is almost extinct. Until we re-establish our connection to spirituality, it will keep getting worst.
Donna Hope (Cultural Analyst):
Today's Christmas is more commercialised. Less focus on old time heritage traditions like Jonkonnu and more on family gatherings, fun - (like parties, stage shows, comedy), good food and time with friends.
Where entertainment is concerned, we had more shows and traditionally the youths looked towards Christmas. But now, there's no money to go around, they are not looking forward to see the Christmas season. Children have lost faith in Santa and what I see more now is robberies and more stress.
Macka Diamond (Artiste):
Back in the days, we stuck to the Christmas traditions, buying trees and decorating with lights. Nowadays, with the recession, everything is much more expensive. Back in the days, kids were much more involved in Christmas treats etc., but now, with the increase in technology, kids are busy on their phones, tablets etc. Majority of persons aren't that excited about celebrating Christmas anymore.
- Davina Henry