Trini Christmas is de best! We hear this declaration all the time and anyone who has experienced the holidays on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago can attest that it is indeed true. It really is a magical time of year. The food, music and atmosphere are second to none. And while every year locals vow to start the preparations early, somehow we still find ourselves scampering to do the important things at the last second. Deep down, I think we all secretly believe that the last minute dash is what makes Christmas so special. Here are 5 things Trinis wait until the last minute to do.
Does this sound familiar? It’s 2:00 a.m. Christmas morning and you’re still putting up the new curtains. What went wrong? You swore…you even made an announcement at the office that your Christmas cleaning would be done 2 weeks before the day. But here you are. Don’t worry! Nothing compares to the exhilaration you feel when your house is done exactly the way you envisioned it. You’d fall into bed exhausted but happy.
Here’s a snippet of a conversation you had with your sister in November.
You: I’m not painting this year. I only want an accent wall in my living room.
Sister: Girl, me too. I have no money in my budget for that. I will make my husband scrub the walls.
One month later, you find yourself frantically looking for a parking spot in the carpark at Bhagwansingh’s. You’re there to purchase four gallons of paint. What changed? Paint envy. There is nothing like the smell and look of your neighbours’ fresh coated walls to make you realise that you do want to paint for Christmas after all.
So here you are. It’s three days before Christmas and you’re just about to crack open a tin of paint. No judgement. We Trinis love the madness!
Shopping for groceries
Another familiar scenario. You’ve mounted the pavement and parked your car 3 miles away from the supermarket. Can’t celebrate Christmas with empty cupboards so you’re dashing into Xtra Foods with a few minutes to spare. You grab the last cart and make your way through the aisles in record time. Surprise! You are the 131st person in line to cash. Sigh! Never you again, right?
You’ve made your list, you’ve checked it twice. Somehow though, it’s Christmas Eve and you are wondering why everybody waited until the last minute to buy their presents. You promised yourself you would not be at the mall at 10pm hoping to find something special for your wife! But it wouldn’t be Christmas in Trinidad unless we partake in the tradition of last minute shopping.
Everybody knows that food is at the centre of our Trini Christmas festivities. So come hell or high water, food has to be cooked. There are breads and cakes to bake, pastelles to make by the dozen, hams and turkeys to prepare and sorrel to boil. It is a mammoth task but like most Trinis, you have become an expert at juggling tasks; hanging new curtains and baking bread at the same time on Christmas Eve. We like it so!
Whenever you finish your preparations for the season, it doesn’t matter. We know that all the effort is worth it. Spending time with friends and family, creating new memories…priceless.
Merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us at Life in Trinidad!
You might also be interested in this article: Healthy Options For Christmas Delicacies.