As you can imagine I am quite anxious about my new (first & only) blog and I’m excited to receive comments from everyone who has visited. In the midst of the excitement, the reality dawned that to keep the interest I needed to update my posts at least once every 24hrs. With this thought came panic. What to write about for my 2nd post????? Do I write about Christmas spirit? Nopes, you would probably all laugh at me since I am doing the least Christmassy things this year living in Indonesia. How about something specific to expatriate life? Hmmm, maybe, but its the holidays – who wants to get too serious? After much pondering the solution came as a comment from a friend. He sent the following BB message to me about ExpatOnTheGo:
“Love it. Want to see more. Also make it a bit about Jamaica’s culture; a bit about non-political aspects of Jamaica that you are passionate about.” BW
His suggestion triggered the thought that he is right, readers want to get to know me, my passions & my interests. Hence today’s post is a mix of BW’s recommendation and Christmas nostalgia.
Being away from home during the holidays can be a somewhat sad time for people who celebrate Christmas. For the British the yearning may be for pies and eggnog, for the Americans it may be the shopping malls and the snow. One thing that is quite common though is that we miss our families. Mine, on one side, is quiet & laid back with my dad playing reggae music (Bob Marley, Dennis Brown,Peter Tosh & Beres Hammond, among others). On the other side is a noisy bunch of loud people who have strong opinions and no problem telling/showing you that your gift sucks. Not to mention the anger if 2 persons happened to buy the same or very similar gift. This is my mom’s side which is where I have spent 99% of all my Christmases. This is where my passion for all things gets reignited each year and where I wonder if bipolarity is in the gene pool and we just have not yet identified it. Gosh!!!! I love my family.
For me this year is less happy (note that I did not say sad) not only because I am away from my extended family, but also because I truly miss my island paradise of Jamaica. I miss the Jamaican Christmas Breeze (its usually hot but in December the air is cooler and the wind is heavier), the taste of Jamaican Christmas cake (made from spices that have been soaked in Jamaican rum for sometimes up to 1 yr.), sorrel (a drink made from a plant – it has no substitute, see photo below by Linda Rowe as posted on jamaicans.com), the tv shows (Birth of Jesus, Sound of Music etc.) which have been the same at Christmas time from back in the days when the only tv station accessible in Jamaica was the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC). Anyone remembers JBC?
Strangely, or maybe not, I also miss the lead up to STING (the world’s largest one night reggae show). It is like a mini soap opera watching and listening to the dance hall entertainers’ antics leading up to the big night (it’s held annually on Boxing Day, December 26th) and wondering for years who was crazy: me or them? I am now convinced that it is not crazy: it’s cultural, it’s a difference in mindset. The big question this year is: will Vybz Kartel and/or Movado show up to perform?? For the non-Jamaicans you may be lost but it is easy getting distracted in the midst of the Jamaican music scene.
My heart is palpitating just talking about Christmas in Jamaica. A big smile is on my face right now as last year this time we were in Jamaica and still arguing about whether to spend Christmas day at a hotel (and avoid having to cook & cleanup) or to stay at my mom’s home. How silly an argument but that is part of the dynamics of families coming together for the holidays. It’s no longer children doing what mummy and daddy says. It’s now grown children, some with their own families, coming together for the holidays with their parents and siblings but wanting a say in the decision-making process (no longer kids ).
What do you miss most from holidays in your home country? What are some of your most distinctive memories? Share with us on ExpatOnTheGo.
Check out this link to a Jamaican Christmas song by Fab 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a76G0FpHRRg
Until next time……One Love