Monday, December 19, 2005


Oh,how christmas has changed

Last night I was lying on my bed and thinking of how Christmas has changed over the years.Some changes are subtle while others have been rather drastic.Anyway,here are a few things I miss and some notable changes to the celebrations.

Serenading or "singing out" as we called it.Growing up it was not uncommon to be sitting in your living room and hear carols being sung on the front porch.A peek outside would reveal a group of carollers-usually a church choir,youth club or service organisation doing their thing.sometimes,you sang along or just simply listened to the songs and the speechmaking which tended to be either serious or very hilarious.

Upon completion the carollers would receive a monetary donation from the household and/or some food and drink.As little childreen and early teens we would organise our own brand of serenading and turn up at our own homes and those of neighbours.It was all good fun but sadly the tradition has died out.

Midnight mass.It used to be that we would go to church at 11 pm and ring in Christmas Day at midnight.Then somebody decided to make a change probably because Christmas Eve was the night for the last bit of cleaning etc.So church service went to 5am on Christmas morning and finally to 7am.

I also miss the excitement that I felt as a child.I suppose it is a natural process as we grow up but still I would love to recapture the wonder of it all.Am talking about the thrill associated with getting presents,trying to figure out exactly what was bought for you and making it your business to seek out the likely hiding places.I know am not the only one who felt that the day would never come nor the only one who would wake up early on Christmas day and rush to open gifts.

Nowadays,the new phenomenon is the competition for the best lit communities and houses.It all started with a returning national putting thousands of lights on his house and gradually spread to others doing same.Soon it became a competition and the lighting of a huge tree in capital Kingstown.The lights are beautiful and I think its a wonderful addition to the season and no doubt Vinlec(the power company)feels the same way too.

Sunday shopping.I think this became a feature in probably the last 10 years or so.It coud be earlier but I really don't remember stores being open on Sundays on such a large scale.The argument still rages as to whether or not rank commercialism is defiling the day of worship.I can't say I have strong opinions either way but undoubtedly its business places way of capitalising on the increased activity.

Finally,the Carolling competition originally started by NBC radio and now privately run.Business houses,Govt depts,villages etc form their choirs and perform a traditional carol and an original song to the beat of any genre.It has become an integral part of the season and the park is guaranteed to be full when the contest is on.

Are there many changes in your part of the world?

Bah... Humbug...
Well, we still have mass at midnight, I still get excited about getting gifts (but now I also get a kick from buying really special gifts for my loved ones), stores have always been busy on Sundays... but, I have never seen or heard Carollers singing in the streets. I've seen it on TV; I kinda always thought it was a myth...
Some churches have midnight mass -just not mine.
Christmas is the one time of the year I see all of my siblings. Over the years they've sort of disappeared and gone about their own thing but every Christmas, they always come back. Then they force me to crawl under the tree and retrieve their presents.
Much of what you mention here can be said to be true of Jamaica as well.

The whole hoilday has become much too commercial and there are a number of pay parties....

Indeed, as a child there was much anticipation about the coming of christmas morning to open up presents.
Well people can still go carolling, but they're liable to get jacked.
Yes Abeni it has changed. I just wish that people would get back to what Christmas really means instead of assuming it's nothing but a time for a shopping spree. Everywhere I turn it's always, " Give me this! I want that! I got to buy this! " But how many folks really know what Christmas is? Take away the gifts and food and some of these people would die because they don't know that Christmas is to celebrate Jesus' Birthday, plus being with family. Seems like every year Christmas is more commercialized. I guess the few of us who still know what Christmas is can remember it for what we make it. Anyway...

Go back to my blog. I want you to read my latest response on my last post. I got a little pissed off. LOL!
Abeni girl its here in trini too we even have a supermarket that opens till 4am imagine that I wonder about the employees who have to work those hours.
Its not so bad though we still have carolers we call them parangers and its mostly alcohol they get not money and the lights thing is the same here too.
christmas done changed girl
One of the changes for me is that my only sibling, who is married and has children, now spends every Christmas in Miami with his in-laws. Just when I seem to have accepted it, I feel a way about it. Anyway, I am cool with it most of the time. As a result, I spend time with my wife's family, and my parents usally do all the church things.
Well, when I was little I used to go to midnite mass every year. Yeah, my parents forced me, but it was fun at Christmas.

I haven't been to church (excepting funerals, baptisms and weddings (oh, I said funerals already, nuh true ;-))
so I dunno if they still have midnite mass, tho I suspect they still do... I wonder if I should try to go to midnite mass this year?

Hmmm... Hey Doc, the pay parties are well irie. I would love to go to Frenchmen when next I am in Jam.

Trouble, doh be so grouchy man. Go hug up your girl and get inna the vibe, man.
I'm probably just naive, but I really don't see that many changes here. The main one is that the Christmas season now starts after Halloween (31 October) instead of Thanksgiving (late November). Oh well, that just means that by the time I start shopping in December, everything is marked way down.
Oh, one Big change. My mom and my aunt were carolling on a street corner with a choir. I was standing listening, and got stopped by cops for being a suspicious Negro. No wait, I guess that's kind of the same too.
It has changed in Jamaica, not much lights up anymore and it's all about shopping now.
I agree, totally, Christmas traditions changed and have been replaced by others. I never have been to any mess so, I don't really miss Christmas midnight mess but one thing that I miss is the exciting atmosphere. I had to work on christmas day so I wish we could get back to those old days when every stores were closed. Some members of my family don't even come at our Christmas party because they are too busy or just not in the mood. I think that the real meaning of Christmas faded away with commercialism.
I think it has changed for me a lot because I had to give presents two and because of that I was sapose to make presents because i didn't have enough pocket money!
I think it has changed for me a lot because I had to give presents two and because of that I was sapose to make presents because i didn't have enough pocket money!
I think it has changed for me a lot because I had to give presents two and because of that I was sapose to make presents because i didn't have enough pocket money!
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