Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Memories

I often chuckle when I hear people say that it does not feel like Christmas until it snows or that they are wishing for snow for Christmas. Admittedly, that first snowfall is beautiful, and there’s something incredibly beautiful and peaceful about watching snowflakes fall softly.  Yet I don’t equate snow with Christmas. The Christmases of my childhood memories are quite the opposite. They were warm and usually sunny and filled with smiling memories of family, friends, and good food.

Growing up, I had what you called “island Christmases.” Those Christmases spent in Jamaica are some of my best and favorite childhood memories. I remember waking up to a packed house filled with relatives and friends from near and far.  In our excitement, my cousins and I would rush to open gifts on Christmas morning, usually grabbing the gifts from relatives in “foreign” (the term we used for the U.S., Canada or England) first.  Though exciting, gift giving and exchanging was not the focal point of Christmas.  We were always thankful for what we got, but I don’t remember creating wish lists or even wanting the latest gadget.  I do remember anxiously awaiting my cousins’ arrival and longing to see my relatives from abroad who usually came home for Christmas. Time spent with loved ones was paramount in my family. Since I come from a musically talented family, we often gathered around singing together or listening to my uncles play the guitar or keyboard. My sister, cousins and I also enjoyed dressing up and performing songs for my family. I haven’t sung some of those songs in years, but today I still remember the lyrics. There are times I catch myself humming those songs of my childhood around the holidays. In addition, my family always (and I mean always) played a huge and extremely competitive game of scrabble. To this day, scrabble remains my favorite board game, and to this day, I cannot beat my uncle T., aunt M. or cousin S.

Although it does not snow in Jamaica, I do remember waiting up one Christmas Eve with my sister and cousins looking out for Santa and is reindeer. We were way too young to realize that poor Santa would have sweated buckets wearing his red wool suit in the Caribbean.

As we get ready to celebrate Christmas in a few days, it’s a great time to stop and reflect on its true meaning. Gift giving and receiving are definitely great parts of this blessed holiday, but they are not the full meaning of Christmas. I like to refer to Christmas as “love holiday,” because the greatest gift that anyone of us can give each other around this time is love. So for this love holiday, remember to give some love away. 



  1. Love this! Sometimes we all get so wrapped up in gift giving and all the hoopla, that we never really realize the point of it all and that's being and spending time with family! I live in the southern U.S. and I NEVER experienced a white Christmas either! LOL

  2. I remember those of the best memories ever!!!! For 2013 I definitely want tp focus on giving love away:)