For Caribbean diasporans, home is more than where the heart is. And perhaps more than at any other time of the year, the advent of the Christmas season heartily embraces the Biblical miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ and also unites families in a loving way.
While many will make an exodus to the Caribbean to renew kinships, parang, join with Johnkunnu and relive grand market experiences, those remaining state-side will have to rely on nostalgia, friends and family in order to rekindle the fervor associated with the holidays.
Already parents have been bombarded with requests from their little girls for anything Frozen. The Disney juggernaut abounds with dolls, skates and other paraphernalia reminiscent of the top-grossing movie. And boys are still demanding games of any kind, digital and electronic, athletic gear, cash and maybe not so much – clothing.
Adults are opting for big-ticket items such as iPhones, tablets, over-priced head-sets and gadgets. But for the family, here are a few items that could consolidate the shopping experience and in the process engage every member of the family.
Radio City Christmas Spectacular ends on Dec. 31. Make this a priority and afterwards stop by Rockefeller Center to see the city’s official Christmas tree.
Experience The Ride – a bus tour through the theater district. It is uniquely entertaining.
Visit the New York Botanical Gardens for a train ride through the Bronx gardens.
Take a Broadway outing to see a play. Recommendations include “Cinderella,” “Matilda,” “The Lion King,” “Kinky Boots” or “Aladdin.”
Check out a “G” rated movie – “Annie, The Hobbit.”
A quick way to get to South America is to make a stop into Fairway for a taste of Brazil. Try Bazzar Sauces. The guava, Acai and Banananada desserts are heavenly. They are toppings and desserts from Brazil and rich with spices.
Books – Always recommended for any member of the family. “Song Birds: Pioneering Women in Jamaican Music” is my pick.
A family spa outing.
Ice skating in Central Park, Rockefeller Center or Bryant Park.
Adopt a pet from the animal shelter.
And for your friends – bake a cake, pie or make and bottle ginger beer, sorrel, peanut punch, pickled peppers.
Frame a photo you snapped earlier in the year. Most of all, have a happy, healthy holiday season.
Remember it’s the thought that counts.
Most of all keep in mind that Jesus is the reason for the season.
Catch You On The Inside!