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December 8, 2005 at 4:35 pm 4 comments

I went to the airport today to collect a family member who’d been away for a few weeks and was coming back on the Miami flight. The flight was full as it is now the start of the Jamaican diaspora visiting season. Those who are coming down for Christmas all ready tend to be those who are retired and are coming for a month. Some of these are people who have been abroad for many many years but still view Jamaica as their home and want to be here for Christmas. You can see them, emerging from the airport, blinking in the bright sunshine, looking anxiously around for relatives who they haven’t seen for years, hoping that they will be recognised.

If you go nearer to Christmas, then you see the younger people. Those young people who have gone abroad to study, or to get their first job, most of whom go up saying that they’ll come home soon. These are the ones who are travelling in their fashionable clothes with smart suitcases, wanting everyone to know that they are making it abroad, that they are someone. They want to come home to live, but they can’t get… they have to finish their next degree, they have to get legal status, they have to earn some more money, and eventually it turns out that they have found a new life abroad and are too tied into it to come back.

But no matter what is going on in their lives, Jamaicans all over the world want to come home for Christmas. I know – I was one of these people. I saved for ages, took flights through New York and slept on airport floors – anything just to be home for Christmas. To come home for your sorrel and ham, to see the poinsettias growing outside, to feel the Christmas breeze, to meet up with everyone you left behind and hear the firecrackers at night.

And it felt good today. Good to go to the airport and to be on the receiving side at this time of year. Good to know that I don’t have to fit everything into 2 precious week, that after Christmas, I will not be packing my bags with cake and rum and coffee and memories to last me through the winter. But rather that I’ll still be here in January.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cream  |  December 9, 2005 at 2:11 pm

    Christmas time is for families and, although I am not religious in any way, I love Christmas Day with the family and snow and Christmas Spirit…a wee bit…

    Reply
  • 2. Stunner  |  December 10, 2005 at 11:04 pm

    hat’s what I like about this time of the year, everyone comes tries to come home for the holidays. I get to see my friends who are studying and living abroad!

    Reply
  • 3. Japrincezzshae  |  December 11, 2005 at 12:55 am

    i wish i could come home dis season but winter won’t let go even though sunshine is calling.

    Reply
  • 4. Guyana-Gyal  |  December 11, 2005 at 10:29 pm

    Something that struck me / impressed me about Jamaicans…no matter where they live, Jamaica is ALWAYS home. And Jamaicans have a strong sense of their Jamaican-ess.

    Reply

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About me

I'm a twenty-something year old girl living in Kingston, Jamaica. These are some stories from my life.
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