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I remember the banging of the hammer as curtains were being hung on Christmas eve night. There was the aroma of varnish or French Polish on the mahogany furniture, very often when you sat on the chairs on Christmas day you got stuck to them.
There is practically a car in every driveway in Bim these days, such was not the case back in the day – it meant walking to church on Christmas morning for the early service. The sound of the Arcola shoes pounding on the “tar/asphalt” could be heard, and after being out having a few drinks it could almost give one a headache, the smell of kus-kus perfume permeated the air and accompanied the shoes on the pavement, the ‘Merry Christmas’ greetings from the neighbours on their way to church was awakening. It meant it was Christmas and time to go and sing “Christians Awake salute the happy morn.”
Toys? we made many of them from tin cans, especially corned beef cans, staves from the bundles of shingles, ball bearings, polish tins, hammer, nails and a pair of old scissors. The girls made their own dolls and displayed them with pride.
It has been 28 years since I spent a Christmas in Bim, but I live the memories every year right here in my community. We have access to many of the foods we ate back them, but the fact is that as I listen to people longing to “Live Green” and “Organic” I can gladly say that I have lived that life growing up in Bim in the 40’s 50’s and 60’s.
As change comes with progress, we must enjoy each day and savour the memories.
– by Captain Al
What are your memories of how you spent the Christmas holidays in Barbados? Share them with us. Leave a comment or send us an email with the subject Memories of a Bajan Christmas to firstname.lastname@example.org