“You know I don’t really get to enjoy me fairy lights and Christmas decorations because now is time to tek down and is like only the other day I put them up,” Marian said with some amount of genuine disappointment.
She and I were having a casual conversation, but when she brought the topic up I decided to write on it. I am always amazed at the amount of energy most of us expend on decorating our homes for the season, ensuring that this is done close to Christmas Day or on Christmas Eve night! It means that these decorations are only up for about two weeks and for those who do not observe the 12 days of Christmas and take them down just after New Year’s Day, shorter.
I wouldn’t say if I fall into that category, but Marian certainly does. She does not have children in the home and she still waits until it is almost Christmas Day before she decorates and that is of course weeks after her house was in the ‘put away’ mode.
“I tell me husband that next year I not waiting so long I must really enjoy me decoration. No, I telling you the truth; I not making joke,” she said, seeing the cynical smile on my face.
Why does she wait until it is almost Christmas to
“Girl, I grow up seeing me mother doing it; is like we had to wait until midnight to put up curtains and so and like dah thing lef in me. But I don’t wait till Christmas Eve before I decorate I does do it before,” she said.
“But now look, I have to take it down just now and I ain’t get to enjoy me lights or nothing, so next year I want do it like a good two weeks before.”
I laughed and asked her if she would really stick to that promise or if she would prefer for her house to look ‘fresh’ for the big day.
She hesitated and then joined me in laughing.
“You know you right, it does feel just different when you house fresh on Christmas day because now if I do it long before the house guh look stale nuh girl?” she asked.
I shook my head slowly not sure if I wanted to agree or disagree. I commented that I thought fairy lights were for children.
“No girl,” she said loudly. “I like me fairy lights. I know I don’t have children, but I like to see them blinking and I does just sit down and enjoy it. Even in me house does get, outside and inside and it does really like put me in the mood,” she added.
I enquired about her husband.
“He don’t say nothing but I think he like it too because he does help put it up and he never complain. Look all two a we like Christmas because he does help me wipe walls and clean windows and I don’t gaffo deh behind he, sometimes he does volunteer and all,” she said with a satisfaction.
As I listened, I prayed silently for other wives wishing that their husbands could come around and volunteer their services instead of making themselves scarce.
She continued almost excitedly: “Christmas is we time because we does have to get we lil pepperpot, just me and he alone because nobody don’t really come by we. But we does get everything and Old Year’s Night we does get we cook-up and enjoy we self.”
“But the only thing is the teking down of the decoration does happen too quick. And people don’t even put on the fairy lights when New Year’s Day pass so even if you keep it up for a few days is like you don’t want turn them on,” she said this almost sadly.
I wanted to ask why she looked at what others did, but I held back. But being a woman of faith, I felt it would have been remiss of me if I did not remind her of the reason for the season.
“Yeah man, I know Christmas is all about Jesus birthday. I don’t go to church and so, but I know. I know too that it is suppose to about giving and sharing. But is also about enjoying you self, you know about enjoying life,” she said.
I informed that I did not subscribe to the parties and the heavy celebrations that involve the consumption of alcohol.
She looked at me almost stunned as if I was speaking a foreign language.
“Well girl you try deh I does have to enjoy me self, Jesus born yes but we on this earth and he would want we to enjoy we self so I does enjoy me self to the fullest. I not saying I does drink up and get drunk but I going out and enjoying me self,” she said emphatically. “Anyways girl leh me go eh because I have things to do.” She laughed uncomfortably.
We parted almost on a sad note, a far stretch from the jovial beginning of the conversation. I pondered about how many persons really remember the reason for the season as they party and enjoy themselves during the Christmas period.