Best Memories of Christmas

April 20, 2012
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December 24this a simple but awesome Christmas Day. Clear sky, sunny day, fresh air; everything is perfect. A joyful song is in the heart of each little kid in the surrounding. Most Haitian Christmas is not about gifts, or Santa coming through the chimney at midnight bringing gifts under the Christmas tree; It’s about having fun with family and friends, it’s about being together, young and old and share a laugh.

Behind the mountains, the yellowish-rounded sun appears, the high-pitched chant of the birds disperses through the air making everything on its path shiver under the soft wind blows. Then slowly brown eyes are opening, legs and arms are stretching, mouths are yawning. Two hours later, everyone is awake with a smile on his/her face babbling about everything—what happened the night before, plan for the day, things from the years before—while gulping food. Ten o’clock! Game time! Hurrah!! My brother, my best friends and I go outside in the fenced hard and play. We are running, screaming, going to the boutique in the front and eating candies and cookies. Some short breaks once in a while, when one of us gets called, then right after kid-craziness takes the lead again.

One o’clock, it’s dinner time. Everyone clusters around the table, eats and talks. Now everything is clean and in order—the table is clear, dishes are washed and placed where they belonged sparkling.
“Gen kouran (There is electricity)” says one of my friends, “Come on, they are going to give the final of the Christmas Contest.”
--Yeah! We scream running through the living room. All of us are there—my mom, my brother, my friends and I—except Dad, he is almost never around during daytime. Children sitting, or lying down on the carpet, adults on the chairs and couch, arguing who we think will be the winner with our eyes glue on the Television. Fin ally, the show starts; everyone becomes a statue—well! Maybe not a statue but we become immobile and almost-quiet, since our inhale and exhale and heartbeat can be heard. The contestants start to perform, we are mobile again, and arguments start and continue as the show continues. The tension is crawling seconds after seconds until it reaches the summit. It’s the last commercials before the winner is being delivered, everyone is antsy. After five minutes which seems to be an eternity, the show continues; a tomblike silence disperses across the room. Fin ally, the winner is announced. “Youpi”! We are so merry on the “Merry” Christmas Day. Now it’s party time. The hanged-up-orange ball (the sun) starts to sleep; everyone is outside. We, kids, go back to play but this time, a little bit different, now it’s making-noise time. We light up little firecrackers and throw them in the air watching them exploding while laughing and horsing around. Around seven thirty, Mom calls us and gives us drinks, I take my soda as usual, my brother and his friends take theirs and also a beer, Prestige, for the two of them—there is not a legal age for people to drink—so my mom let them have it since it doesn’t happen often but only on special occasion like this one. As for myself, I take one or two sips from my mom’s Guinness, even if I don’t like its taste. Then, we go in the gallery and dancing while Mom is sitting in the boutique, talking to some costumers and selling to others. From time to time, we go to her and take cookies, candies or firecrackers from her, rush on top of the flat roof and look at the barely-light-up neighborhood in which everyone is trying to have a good time, whether on the street or inside the houses. Suddenly, it is ten o’clock, the fun dies out at my house, while parties just started in nearby houses; my best friends who live behind our house, have to go home; the boutique is now closed, everyone goes inside, dad gets home, the gate is closed.

And so, the amazing Christmas Day is over as our tired-eyelids slowly seal together waiting for New Year’s Eve to blow off steam again.

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