Ahhh it is so good to wake up this Christmas morning all warm and cozy. Feliz Navidad to all. Now where is that owner person, I have been dreaming about that ham all night, I knew I saw her put it in that big white box, the same one she put all that good smelling food in. I think they are trying to hide it from me, I don’t know why, don’t she see how cute I am, them elves don’t have notton on me. Wait, what is this I hear, hmmm, someone is in the living room. Let me take a look. Oh wait its a thief, why is he standing next to that tree with all the light, what is that bag on his shoulder, and why is he wearing the same outfit as me, and what the hell is he, wait a second, he eating cookies, hey you fat men, put them cookies down. i said put them cookies down. Ohhh he not listening, ohh look out now, them fat ankles going pay for that. Yeah you thief, you better run. Wow, he can move fast, but where he going, no, not the chimney, he going get stuck in there. Ahhh cookies and milk. All for me, ahhh yes, I am sitting right here, he come back, them ankles is mine i tell you. Ahhh, full, warm, satisfied. Now if I can just figure how to open up that white box with the food in it.
Growing up on the island, back in a day, the two distinct scents were paint and apples. Weird combination huh? Well the paint because every Christmas it was redecorating time. We sewed new curtains, some got new furniture, new kitchen wares, I mean all kinds of new things for the house, and the best part for me was the painting, I mean all kinds of bright colours. The drawing room, the kitchen, the bedrooms all got brand new paint jobs. Yellow, blue, green, I mean we made sure the house looked like a brand new rainbow. The sent of paint lasted for days I tell you. You may wonder why the scent of apples is one of the memories. Well back then we got apples only around Christmas time. Ohhh how I loved them apples, we only got the red ones, big juicy, sitting in a bamboo bowl in the center of the dining table. It was a ritual for me. Watching Mommy Charles take them out of the brown paper bag, going to the cubbard and getting the bowl, stacking the apples into it like a fruit pyramid, yes, I could not wait to sink my teeth into them. Later that day, the whole house would smell like apples. i used to sit in the kitchen close my eyes and inhale. Ohh yes, i can smell it now, apples and paint meant Christmas was right around the corner.
Parang time, parang is going from house Christmas morning eating drinking and playing music.
That moment, right before the band strikes up, and the dance team begins to twirl their canes, and the police bikes roars their engines, and the fire trucks blasts their sirens, and the kids on floats throws candy into the crowd. There is organized confusion.
Mauled At The Mall
That year, Cabbage patch dolls were the rage. I saw grown men get into fights, beating each other to bloody pulps until the cops came. I was stunned to see grown men fighting over dolls. To tell you the truth, it reminded me of food lines after riots and looting back home. The only difference is that there, the fight was for food. My friend, who has an uncanny resemblance to Napoleon Dynamite, was pulling a pallet filled with the infernal toys. A female customer noticed him. She screamed and before he could react, he was attacked by a horde of customers. They were ripping at anything that got in their way and unfortunately for him, he was the obstacle they had to get past. I could not help but laugh. I know, I should have helped him, but I had no intention of being ripped to shreds by fake fingernails. The women were the most vicious. They would attack arms, failing voices shrieking like a hungry lioness. It was like a bad horror movie set at a toy store. When the frenzy abated, my friend lay among a pile of torn boxes. There was blood, teeth marks and scratches all over him from being scratched and bitten by the frenzied women. His thick, horned-rimmed glasses lay on his chest as if someone had rested them there. His eyes rolled back in his head, and half of his work vest lay in the pile of torn boxes. He had to be taken to the hospital. I never saw Christmas the same after that.
My introduction to thanksgiving was visiting my ex in-laws in the mountains of Easter Kentucky. I remember driving those winding roads, the frost on the windows, the hills with dried out tress. Then when we arrived at our destination, my mother in law trying to squeeze the lift out of me with her famous bead hug, will I was a good two feet taller than her so I had to bed over. Then the day consisted of me sitting in the living room while the men talked sports and construction. I did not know about football back then, all it was to me was a group of men running around wearing tights crashing into each other, and ask for the construction, well I did not know anything about insulation, hell on the island everything was brick and mortar or wood. So i found myself in the kitchen with the women, oh the sweet gossip, the stories, not the mention all the food was in there. My favorite was the deserts, my sister in law”s pumpkin rolls, oh yes, this American food can be addictive. The cakes, the pies, the buckeye candy, the fudge, so much sweet i was drunk after eating. I never really understood the concept of Thanksgiving, was it for the family, the food or to celebrate the whole Native American Pilgrim thing. Either way, the one thing I remember is how bloody cold it was.