This will be my first Christmas without my mom.
No matter where she has been – at home, in the hospital, or for the past few years, in her long term care home, we celebrated Christmas with my mom.
In the last few years, I would get presents on her behalf, to give to the kids, and we would decorate her room with Christmas decorations.
She really loved celebrating Christmas. We would have duck for our Christmas dinner, because we as a family found Turkey too dry. She would make dhal puri (West Indian stuffed roti), squash, an assortment of vegetables and we would enjoy our feast. She loved fruit cake and was known to go through many loaves throughout the holidays.
We always had walnuts and chocolates around during the holidays.
We always sang Christmas carols and she loved singing them especially on Christmas morning. She liked receiving certain presents at Christmas – her horoscope book for the upcoming year, the farmer’s almanac for her gardening needs, slippers, bubble baths, pretty jewelry and clothes.
When we were little, we have photographs of the Christmas tree, put together upside down. Given the way that trees looked in Trinidad, my mom found it more aesthetically pleasing to have the tree in an upside down triangle, with the wide part at the top, which allowed for more decorations. I saw this way of putting up a Christmas tree recently in a design book; who knew mom was cutting edge!
She made these amazing wreaths every year with fresh evergreen branches and pine combs. They looked so pretty and she would make ones for our homes when we moved out.
She would put a lot of care in decorating the house at Christmas and I loved sitting with her in our living room just watching how the lights twinkled on the tree. We had our favourite Christmas album that we would play when decorating and enjoying the holidays. It was a 1970’s album of Jazzy singers putting their own spin on Christmas classics. I miss not having that album anymore.
Mom also had a tradition of keeping all of the Christmas cards we received and used them as decorations. She also kept all of our Christmas decorations made throughout school and used them every year.
I hope that I honour her when we decorate our house and keep her traditions going.
I hope that her spirit enjoys the holidays this year and that she is at peace.
I will miss her physically not being here, but know that her spirit will be with us. Merry Christmas mom.
Her legacy continues through us.
But that’s just one Diva’s view.