Bright and early on Christmas morning I heard the notes of my favourite parang song playing in the house. “All yuh come, all yuh come, all yuh come / We drinkin’ – neighbour is Christmas morning/ Serenadin’ – neighbour is Christmas morning… Celebraaaaaate!”
Since Christmas 2005 this song has become part of a tradition at the Bierzynski house in Morne Jaloux. This is how it goes – Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve followed by ham, warm bread and sorrel in the wee hours of the morning. If we’re lucky we’ll get about five hours of sleep, because by then the sweet sounds of parang are filling the house and Mummy is putting the turkey in the oven.
Family lunch on Christmas Day alternates between the Bierzynski households in Morne Jaloux and Old Fort. This year the family – close to thirty of us – headed to Old Fort to celebrate the day while taking in one of the most breathtaking views on the island. Turkey, ham, various casseroles and desserts, sorrel, rum other drinks made up the menu for the day, but Christmas lunch isn’t complete without Auntie Michelle’s corn pie. While we, the younger folk in the family, enjoy catching up with our cousins, what we really look forward to all year is digging into that corn pie. It’s that good. Trust me.
Confession: When Mummy told me that lunch this year was being catered I got more than a little worried. “Wait, so no corn pie?” I asked. She laughed at me. Auntie Michelle already had it covered. Phew!
|View from the Fort|
As the day started to wind down and the sun set on another Christmas day, I thought we would be heading home soon. I was wrong. With drinks in hand and the music turned up our parents started dancing while the cousins sat and watched in disbelief. “Y’all young people don’t know how to dance, that’s how come they sit down so!” said Auntie Dawne. “Look at them, they burning bench!” Uncle Andrew remarked.
While I watched my family having so much fun together it confirmed why I was so eager to spend Christmas at home. It wasn’t even about escaping the cold – well that helped – but there’s something about celebrating Christmas with my family. Getting my cousin Khari to take photos of us while we pose for way too many pictures by the tree, laughing at my Dad’s lamer than even possible jokes, poking fun at my cousin Chad passed out on the couch while all the dancing’s going on, threatening to post the video of the adults dancing on YouTube, and the corn pie is more than I could ever have wished for.
|Alena & I|
I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas season filled with love, laughter, family and friends. I know I did. Til next year!
|Caught capturing the memories!|
By the way, props to Khari for capturing the memories! Be sure to visit his website here!