Remembering… Christmas

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire/ Jack Frost nipping at your nose/ Yuletide carols being sung by a choir/ And folks dressed up like Eskimos/ Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe/ Help to make the season bright/ Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow/ Will find it hard to sleep tonight/ They know that Santa’s on his way/ He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh/ And every mother’s child is gonna spy/ To see if reindeers really know how to fly/ And so I’m offering this simple phrase/ To kids from one to ninety-two/ Although it’s been said many times, many ways/ Merry Christmas to you!”
Now, let’s be honest: isn’t the Christmas song above – as crooned by the inimitable Nat king Cole seventy years ago – the picture that most of us have in our minds when we think of Christmas?? Sure, we’ve got our ginger beer, black cake, pepper pot and masquerade, but we see that as our “adaptation” to the “real thing”, don’t we?? We still plunk our little darlings onto the lap of some rotund, bearded fella dressed for the Arctic, don’t we?? For all we know, the chap could be getting his jollies off – but hey! – it’s Christmas, no?
Your Eyewitness’s real gripe about Christmas isn’t actually about the day itself. He feels, even though we’re imitating the Brits – who’d enslaved and indentured us for over a hundred years – nothing’s wrong with another excuse to have a good time. Not that we Guyanese ever needed excuses for a “sport”!! What gets his goat, though, is we still got “Boxing Day” as a holiday. Your Eyewitness, as a red-blooded Guyanese, just loves holidays – the more the merrier. But Boxing Day’s one when the plantation owners, managers, and the ”high society” folks in Georgetown would prepare “boxes” of their leftovers to share to the rest of us. Why should we celebrate this reminder of our denigration as human beings??
Anyhow, back to Christmas. There’s no question this is the most widely celebrated holiday in a land brimming with all sorts of religions!! That could be seen as a sign of the extent to which we’re still subjected to “mental slavery”, in the words of Brother Bob – or as a sign of our catholicity!! See that?? A religion that invented the Inquisition – involving whips, chains and the rack – becoming a synonym for “universality” and liberalism of views!!
So, what will your Eyewitness be doing this Christmas?? “Stuffing his face”, as we Guyanese say so elegantly!! As to what the “stuffing” is gonna be, he always takes pot luck, since the family tradition is to visit each other and try to outdo each other in hospitality!!
In other words, like most Guyanese!!

So, will our politicians be burying the hatchet this Christmas?? And your Eyewitness doesn’t mean in each other’s backs!! It’s the season of brotherhood, ain’t it?? So, your Eyewitness suggests that, in this spirit, the Leader of the Opposition and the President not only shake hands, but engage in a friendly game of dominoes. He was gonna suggest a dance-off, but he doesn’t know whether Comrade Aubrey dances. He certainly scowls – which hides the fact that he’s really a down-to-earth guy!
Or, maybe for the “One Guyana” motto adopted by the President, he can invite Comrade Aubrey over to State House for a pepper pot and cassava bread cook-off. How much more of One Guyana can you get?? Of course, your Eyewitness hopes he’s beefed-up security to fend off any visiting brothers from the -motherland!! But you get your Eyewitness’s drift?? STAY CLEAR OF POLITICS till mid-January, fellas.
Your constituencies will be otherwise occupied during that time, and won’t appreciate being disturbed. In fact, they’ll get VERY disturbed!!

…old friends
While he knows that this COVID pandemic ain’t over, today your Eyewitness gonna be reconnecting IN PERSON with some of his old buddies at the ole watering hole.
Evidently, alcohol can be used as a sanitizer!!

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