I’ll Be Home for Christmas…

Rockefeller Center, NYC

I don’t have to dream of a white Christmas, it seems that’s what I’m gonna get, unless these 2 feet of snow that have been cluttering roadways and sidewalks for the past few days miraculously melt. After hearing those songs on the radio for years in Barbados, and wondering why on earth we play them, this white Christmas business actually has relevance.

But speaking of songs on the radio for Christmas, not hearing any Parang on WBLS is really messing with my Christmas spirit. It suddenly hit me yesterday that that’s what it is, that’s why the approach to Christmas is feeling so…very…blah. Where is ‘I want a piece ah pork‘ ?? ‘Parang, parang ho, parang, parang ho, parang, parang’?!?! I was going up the escalator in Madison Square Garden when that light bulb went off, and so I embraced the revelation and began to delight the Knicks fans surrounding me with the sweet sounds of Kitchener:

Drink a rum and a punch a crema, drink a rum (Mama drink if ya drinkiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin!)
Drink a rum and a punch a crema, drink a rum (It is Christmas morniiiiiiiiiiiiiin!)
Drink a rum and a punch a crema, drink a rum (But doan drink if ya drivin!)

Well, at least, I*thought* I was delighting them. The blank stares told me maybe they needed some enlightening first. I decided to burn that fire in my heart instead. Shoot, I really *do* need a built in fire, outside cold, hear?! Times like this, I ask myself what possessed me to ever leave my sun-drenched rock. I should be picking out a strapless dress for my park promenade on Christmas morning, not hiding this fabulous figure under layers of wool.

Came home and aunty had the pot on, I lifted the cover off the bubbling contents and sniffed. Wha loss!! Wha de smell almos’ knock muh out!! Fruits and rum for the black cake! YESSSSS!!! And shortly after, the sorrel was boiling too. Sat down to rest my tired feet and took in a deep breath of the freshness around me – the ribbons and decorations on every corner, the tree up in the front house, the new table cloth and curtains. Hmm. My little cousin disturbed the peace, running into the room, throwing a marble at my head. “Boy, when I get hol’ ah you, I gine loss way someting in you head!!” “Stop talking that Bajan language,” came his Brooklyn street-flavored reply, “this ain’t Barbados, Dionne.” He’s right. It’s not. But this Christmas, it’s home.


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