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Celebrating Christmas in St Thomas

Published:Saturday | December 24, 2016 | 12:00 AMShanna Kaye Monteilth
Minister Charles Francis and Madge Campbell (second left) hand out food and gifts to the children at the Faith United Church of God Christmas Treat for innercity children of the Mandela Terrace community in Kingston on Sunday.

Christmas is widely celebrated as a time for family, faith and philanthropy. Some say it's a time of giving, others celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ while for some, it's just another day under the sun.

Some people of St Thomas shared with Family and Religion what Christmas means to them.

For Derrian Ferguson, Christmas is mostly about food and family.

"My days leading up to Christmas are spent with family and friends. Games are a must and liquor is mandatory.

"Christmas time can be compared to Restaurant Week as I'm at various homes having a taste of different styles of cooking from both young and old. Driving to visit my family and friends in the country brings back childhood memories of events some people would love to forget.

"Also I love to see the priceless look on my son's face when he is taken to a Christmas concert or to Emancipation Park to look at the set up.

GIVING THANKS

For me, Christmas is also a time of giving thanks to God and to the less fortunate. As much as possible, I assist by providing clothing and food during the season and especially on Christmas Day."

For Christopher Davey, it's the season of giving.

"It's tradition for a group of young men, including myself, to put together a Christmas treat and street party. Months prior to Christmas Day, we ask the business community for donations towards treating the children in our community as well as surrounding areas.

"We normally cater for 600 children yearly and provide them with entertainment from various rides like bounce-about, waterslides, trampolines and merry-go-round.

"And, of course, food is provided. It's a day when we want our kids to know we care about them and let them feel special.

"I have to be between the kids treat which is held on the school grounds in the community, then back to home making sure I am a part of Christmas dinner.

"This is my way of creating togetherness in my community as growing up the elders before me had this yearly event going, now I'm at the age I have taken up the mantle and hope to pass it down to the younger generation with the hope of always keeping the community of Albion (St Thomas) buzzing at Christmas time."

On the other hand, Carlagay Douglas, who is a Jehovah's Witness is not excited by the season.

"I'm not a big fan of Christmas, hence I always stay home and spend the day just watching TV or something like that. Why? Because of my religion and I'm almost never feeling the spirit."

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com