By this time, that familiar rice and distinct stew scent smell would rent the air. It just smelt different compared to all the rice and stew that had been cooked in the past eleven months.
By early morning today, we would be working on fixing the Christmas trees. We would dust off the lights and everyone would take part in decorating the Christmas tree.
We would have purchased Christmas cards to address to friends and family members while the old Christmas cards still looked beautiful and would be spread nicely on the Christmas lights that would have crossed the length and breath of the sitting room several times.
There is that distinct Christmas stew scent smell again. Families killed different shapes and sizes of chicken, turkey, goats and the very wealthy went for the cows.
But we couldn’t tell the difference. Everyone was just in the same joyful mood.
Jim Reeves, Tina Charles, Don Williams, Everly Brothers, were all struggling for play time and recognition in our jute boxes. We had tapes in hand ready to play our favorites.
We would let it rip as the Christmas carols competed for airtime.
We had very colorful masquerades. They had very funny native names and we loved them like that. Some of the masquerades were for children while yet others were for adults.
We just sensed this love in the air for neighbors friends and family members. We took food to our neighbors and waited for them to also bring us theirs in exchange.
The children would follow the very impressive masquerades and when they saw one more impressive in costume or dance steps, they ditched the old and followed the new.
Children didn’t know for how long they trekked following these Christmas displays. They all got back home exhausted tired but full of tales of how much they enjoyed watching these masquerades dance.
Fire crackers were different. We used bicycle or motorcycle spokes to form a shape of a gun and we would load the small cup space of the spoke with carbon from match sticks. Sometimes we found keys that had shell holes in them. We nailed these keys to wooden shaped guns.
We would cover the key or spoke cups with a nail it’s size and when we struck it against the wall, the bang was loud enough to wake the dead. We also had bangers also known as knock outs of different shapes and the night air would compete with smoke and sounds louder than the other.
All these frizzled away nicely as January approached and we would fold back the Christmas trees, cards, costumes and new cloths nicely bidding our time next December Christmas season.
Technology, cares of life, urban life has caused us those lovely Christmas memories. We can only recount them by heart as no one, no one not old enough to recall would know what we’re talking about.