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Bring on the sorrell, jug jug and great cake

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Bring on the sorrell, jug jug and great cake

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Is this your first Christmas in Barbados? And if no, how many Christmases did you celebrate here? And where did you celebrate last year Christmas?This is my first Christmas in Barbados.  It will be quite different from last year – we spent Christmas just outside of Dublin, and it was a cold, blustery day.  We did go for a long walk by the sea, however we wrapped up warmly in layers and layers of clothes!What are some of the differences between Christmas here in Barbados and Christmas in your homeland?One obvious difference is the weather.  In Washington, DC, it can be pretty cold and there is often snow at Christmas. But it’s a great place to be during the holidays – people from across the country live and work in the capital, and during the holidays they gather together to celebrate at wonderful events like concerts at the National Cathedral or the official lighting of the National Christmas Tree, a 42-ft Colorado Blue spruce, by the president and his family. This year, however, we expect to enjoy Barbados’ lovely weather and spend the day outside.  I’ve heard that Queen’s Park is the place to be early in the day, then it’s off to the beach.  And, since it’s our first Christmas here, we’re looking forward to tasting traditional holiday fare – I’ve been promised sorrel, jug-jug and great cake!Will you be having a real Christmas tree or artificial? Though one of the wonderful smells of Christmas is a real fir tree, ours is artificial. Do you have a keepsake memento for your Christmas tree.Yes, many.  I still have some ornaments that I made when I was a child, and now we add the ones our children make each year.  This year, we’re making ornaments out of the flying fish our son and daughter painted at school for Barbados’ Independence day.Where else have you spent Christmas? Tell us one of your special memory that is forever etched in your mind.I’ve lived overseas most of my life, so I’ve spent Christmas in many different places all over the world, from Mexico to Australia, Africa to Asia.  One year, I visited my mother in Gabon at Christmastime and, since it was just the two of us, we decided not to decorate at all.  On Christmas Eve, we changed our minds and drove all over Libreville looking for a tree but the city had already shut down for the holiday.  We ended up decorating a houseplant with all of our jewelry – it looked pretty silly, but we had a wonderful time together.How will you be spending the day? I like to sneak downstairs early in the morning, light-up the Christmas tree, and spend a few quiet moments.  The kids will soon be down, very excited and ready to open all the gifts at once.  I’ll try to hold them back until after breakfast, but we’ll see . . . .We’ve invited some friends for a big pancake breakfast, after which we’ll probably head to the beach so the kids can play with their new pails and shovels.  Our extended family won’t be together until after Christmas, so we’re planning the big dinner for later.What special meal will you be preparing on that day?We’ll have turkey, stuffing, potatoes and sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, and then Christmas pudding and pie and ice cream.  Each year I make a version of Waldorf Salad that my grandmother always made for us – apples, grapes, celery and walnuts, with a nice honey dressing.What do you want in your Christmas stocking?Surf lessons? A kayak? A spa day!What is your one wish for Christmas?Health and happiness for my family and friends.  It may be sentimental, but what better time of year to be sentimental?