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December 8, 2015

10 Signs It’s Christmas in the West Indies

I grew up on a couple of small islands in the blue Caribbean sea. For us the signs of Christmas didn’t involve snow or frost (although we all did lustily sing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” and “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”).

There were some very specific things that said Christmas to us on those tropical islands.

  1. Tins of Royal Dansk Butter Cookies and Quality Street Candies
  2. Bowls of mixed nuts appearing on coffee tables
  3. Apples and oranges being sold on the sidewalks
  4. Red paint coming out to freshen up the concrete steps and patios
  5. New curtains and cushion covers being made
  6. The house being scrubbed sparkling clean from top to bottom
  7. Cases of drinks being stored in the pantry
  8. Dried fruit soaking in rum and cherry brandy for making black cake
  9. A leg of ham being slow roasted in the oven.
  10. Friends you haven’t seen in ages dropping by to say “Season’s Greetings”

These are the memories of my childhood at Christmas. All playing out to a background sound of Parang and screaming children.

What are some of the unique signs of Christmas where you grew up?