T’is the season for traditions and if it is one thing that Trinbagonians have is a world of traditions , some of which make sense and some we just do for doing it sake. I usually go with the grain but here are four ways that I just do my own thing with remarkably no fatalities as a result.
- I don’t make pastelles.
- It is not that I can’t make them, I just prefer to not have the added wuk in creating them and pastelle creation is indeed VERY labour intensive. Thankfully I know some fine, talented folks who take on this labour gladly and outside of my mother, I will happily pay them their just due of a dozen or so in return. If push comes to shove I will make a pastelle pie if necessary, same great taste just in casserole form.
- I don’t always use fresh sorrel.
- Now before you nail me to a cross and I know allyuh like to argue, see above comment re the labour intensity. Yes, sitting down peeling a whole bag (two bags…five bags…) ah sorrel is a fun, traditional activity inclusive of the hand scratching, but I see nothing wrong in the dried sorrel which comes handy in a pack that you just boil and add your flavours and taste. The smell is the same and if you know how to do it right, the colour and the taste are also the same. I know the sorrel purists will come for me but ah love ah ease up eh so ease meh up.
- I don’t wait until Christmas Eve to put away.
- For those who might not know, the term ‘put away’ in Trinidad means to clean out your home, change all your linens and to decorate. It is Trinidad lore that the massive frenzy must take place inclusive of baking bread, black cake, ham and boiling sorrel, while new curtains go up all day Christmas Eve into the wee hours so you wake up to everything fresh and sparkling. However, no one makes mention of how tired your ass will be on Christmas morning so no gracias. In my house, every room gets a day in the lead up and if I have some renovations to do, even before. I must have about three or four days before Christmas to cock up meh foot and while we are on the topic of new curtains…
- I don’t buy curtains every year.
- Some people do almost religiously because they have to change the look and colour scheme of the rooms, which is cool but what I do is rotate. So living room curtains will rotate to my room, I switch up the gremlinz room curtains as well and then afterwards mix and match and rotate again. I don’t have curtain colours that are too outrageous or non-traditional that will clash and if there is no need (or no extra funds) I am not going out of my way to buy any. Who watching your curtains anyway? Not to mention wherrrrre am I putting all these curtains? I hate clutter.
The way I see it, you set your own traditions according to what works for you and for your family as well, despite whoever you think might be rolling in their grave and I’m a ‘do whatever works for you’ person. What about you? Are there any Christmas traditions where you are that you don’t take too seriously? Let me know below!