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JEFF BROOMES: Christmas – a time for giving


JEFF BROOMES: Christmas – a time for giving

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CHRISTMAS IS FOR children, the name for everyone. 

It was so on that morn on which I was born. It is felt even more so on this my first birthday as a retired man. As I reminisce on the many and varied Christmases that I have experienced, one image predominates like a blinding light.

This has rekindled my faith each and every year. No, I wasn’t there but can see it clear, how that light at Bethlehem shone so bright and fair; no one knew, but many have felt the gift for which our hearts would melt. This little child all filled with tears would guide our way for many years.

There is merriment and celebration with friends arriving from foreign lands, as they come visiting. Each one is met with smiles and hugging from loved ones they’ve been missing. Now all are at home on Christmas celebrating with food and drink and kind feeling.

There is gratitude and thanks as we hear the church bells ringing while we dress in our finest garments. We head to church as children lead the elderly in loud singing. Such sounds set hearts pounding with thanks for all we were given. In this house, our innocence has returned on this holy birthday.

There is time to celebrate with family as we taste our mum’s hours of baking. There are cakes and ham we are eating while the pork’s set and there for carving. All are happy and our lips are smacking. It’s His birthday, we are celebrating with food and drink and care and giving.

Happiness and kindness all intermingle as we are filled with excited smiles and open arms. We are touched by the gifts we give and the love we feel. This is true of children young and old. As the colourful gifts are unwrapped, faces brightly gleam and dark hearts open. This is Christmas morning.

This is the time our homes take on new freshness. We smell the hope that Christmas brings.  Rich and poor show their year’s savings. We see the fresh paint, the new curtains hanging, new furniture and, of course, window cleaning. These new scents give true meaning to this our Caribbean Christmas morning.

With all the celebration, the church going and the material improvements, Christmas means more when hearts are moved. We must show true meaning to the birth of Christ. We must love, but we must also totally open up and give true forgiveness to those who may have hurt or disappointed us during the year.

His life showed care, kindness and forgiveness, our lives should show no less. Let Christmas when we love and give, reflect the way our lives are lived. His peace and joy we share today should shape our lives from day to day into the future. So to family, friend and assumed foe, from the depth of my heart, I offer you love and forgiveness. Let’s cross the bridge on this day and please, please, have a very merry Christmas.

Jeff Broomes is an experienced educator, principal and community organiser who also served as vice president of the BCA and director of the WICB. Email: [email protected]