Krysta Anderson, Gleaner Writer
In Jamaica, when we hear the word 'Christmas', sorrel, fruitcake, family, Christmas carols, church, exchanging gifts, huge dinners and parties come to mind. Individuals and families celebrate Christmas in a variety of traditional and sometimes unconventional ways. We asked a few Jamaicans how they planned to spend Christmas Day this year and here is what some had to say.
Donnah Wanliss, manager of Woolworth New Kingston expressed she will have to forgo her annual Christmas plans of spending Christmas in the country this year because she will be working up until Christmas Eve. Christmas morning, she plans to attend church, after having her eggnog, return to the "family headquarters" and assist in the Christmas dinner preparations set to feed about 30 family members. She says this Christmas dinner will involve food, music, drinks and lots of love, and she will be Skyping one of her sons, who could not make it home because he is studying abroad, to join in on the fun.
Mishka Anderson, bank teller and law student, says Christmas for her is all about the three Fs: family, food and fun. On Christmas Eve, her family will go out and experience Grand Market in Half-Way Tree, Kingston. They will explore all that the vendors on the streets in the stores have to offer, breaking away from the group to purchase gifts for different members of the family, reuniting with the group at different intervals. On Christmas morning, they pack up all the presents and head down to her grandmother's house in the country for Christmas dinner preparations. During the exchange of gifts, she explains: "My father always puts on a Santa hat. He picks a present from under the tree and the owner has to dance for it. We pull presents, dance, tell stories and give jokes."
Actress and comedian Deon Silvera shares the same sentiment as it relates to family. Every year, her family reunites in St Mary for the Christmas. This year, she will be keeping that tradition, breaking from her busy schedule to visit and partake in the festivities. For her, spending time with her family during Christmas time brings such joy to her heart.
Actor Kadeem Wilson says he will be spending this Christmas with family and friends, attending a few dinners on Christmas evening.
Michael Holgate, tutor coordinator of Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts and creative director of Ashe, said: "My birthday is the day after Christmas, so I always try to keep it family-oriented." He plans to invite family and friends over and spend it at home, incorporating traditional Christmas meals of ham, rice and peas, chicken and sorrel, and put fish on the menu for Christmas dinner. He affirmed, "I believe that Christmas day is the most boring day on the face of the earth anyway because there is nothing to do. You can't go out because nothing is open. So you have to create the fun inside your home."
Financial adviser Marlon Campbell plans to spend some time with his family in Mandeville and desires to attend a few entertainment events for the season.
Sharon Simpson, a marketing manager, shares a very different view. She is not a fan of Christmas celebrations. She plans to go for a walk in the morning, cook dinner and eat, while watching movies all day Christmas day alone.