Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… – “My Favourite Things” (1959) by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein – The Sound of Music

Not everyone will agree with legendary musicians Rodgers and Hammerstein about their favourite things. But there is one thing we do know, our favourite things are the ones that make us feel good. No, not just good, warm and fuzzy inside; they fill us with a general contentment that makes us smile at the world. And everyone knows what happens when we do that.

For many of us, Christmas is one of our favourite things. We have all witnessed the over-commercialising of this season and to be honest, every year it gets worse. Yet, you would have to be the biggest Scrooge there is to hear Carols, see the Masquerade bands, Christmas trees and decorations, toys, books and the Santa parade and not feel a twinge of excitement.

There is the anticipation. For Christians, who celebrate Christmas as it was originally meant to be observed, the season is preceded by Advent (the coming), a period of expectant waiting and preparation for the Nativity. Even non-Christians wait and prepare, though for different reasons.

But regardless of your religious persuasion, once you are Guyanese, Christmas is a time of giving (and receiving).

It is a time when we give of ourselves, our time and material things. We give to loved ones, strangers and to charity. Filled with favourite things, this edition of Lifestyle is our gift to you this Christmas. Our cover photo is from the lens of intrepid photographer Kester Clarke and it is one of his favourite shots. There are two others inside. Although how Kester can decide on favourites from the hundreds of excellent photos he has taken is beyond me.

In our main story, Oluatoyin Alleyne talks to Chris and Stacy Rahaman, the couple behind the much-liked Visit Guyana Facebook page, who make us fall in love with Guyana all over again. One of their favourite, least-known places in Guyana is Shell Beach and once you have read about it you will see that it’s well worth a visit.

For our food feature, we stepped outside of the box this time around and Oluatoyin Alleyne asked a quartet of upcoming cooks to tell us about their favourite dishes. We did not make any stipulations and none of the cooks went the traditional route. But the dishes are all interesting. Recipes are included so you can prepare them and decide if they will now be listed among your favourites.

For sport, we went back to basics. Enthusiasts will tell you that the Christmas season feels wrong if there is no boxing on Boxing Day. So Emmerson Campbell has asked four lovers of the sport to talk about their all-time favourite local boxing match. They don’t all agree, but thankfully they did not come to fisticuffs over their choices.

Whatever your favourite things are, we hope you enjoy them this Christmas.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Cheryl Springer


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