As I sit here putting pen to paper, my mind starts to explore as I contemplate my plans for Christmas. Back in the days I would have been excited, pumped up and planning where or which party I would be going for Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. In retrospect things and times have really changed as I sit and reflect without a care in the world to leave my humble and safe abode. Neville Charlton
Christmas is usually a period of celebration, giving back and celebrating the birth of Christ. Oh! Let’s not forget, the season is also a time where the slim gets fat and the fat gets fatter! It’s also a period of time where Christians and other faiths take the time to commemorate the birth of Christ. Government agencies, NGOs and individuals, intensify their civic duty to make the season a special one for those less fortunate. Business profits are increased and everyone tries to see how best they can make additional income, but what does Christmas really mean to you. Is it the celebration of Christ? To me, Christmas is a normal day to simply enjoy the pleasures of life, spend time with family, friends and surely eat some good food - chicken, goat, oxtail and ham for all the pork eaters. I definitely won’t be partaking in the consumption of this meat they call “PORK” however if you do, consume until your belly explodes whilst reflecting on the presents you will receive, that’s if you do, and if you’re like me, it doesn’t matter if we do or don’t, life still continues.
In our society, celebrating Christmas is also thought of as a time to spend with loved ones and exchange presents in the spirit of giving. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this fundamentally. And for many people, Christmas is a ritualistic time to feel connected with others, which I think is valuable.
In all the festivities let’s not forget that as we expect to receive, we must also give- give of your time, energy, resources and heart to those who may not be as fortunate.
By volunteering for an incredible cause, you will be making someone's day more than you'll ever know — and you certainly cannot put a price tag on that. Many of us may not even realize how much we take for granted every single day, and the holidays are a necessity to bring us back to reality and away from the semi-selfish jumble some people get caught up in.
Of course, we can't cure every injustice in the world, but if everyone did a small part to make something better, those combined pieces would create a massive mural of gratitude. Seriously though, if you have time to spare, the holidays are an amazing opportunity for you to give back to your community and help out people who could really use it.
Now if you’re going to party and shop, especially you young people, oh how I wish I was young again, as I reflect on my youthful days, although society still classify me as youth, ensure you put your safety first, while I will be at home, probably working or enjoying a good movie, I want to provide you will a few safety tips as you go throughout the hustle and bustle of the markets, malls and our famous Grand Market.
Have a designated driver. Have that one friend, that doesn’t drink or can refrain from drinking thus ensuring the CREW can arrive and reach back home safe.
Don’t walk alone, and remember alcohol impairs your judgment and can leave you vulnerable.
Don’t expose your cash and valuables. You can never be too careful. Crooks, thieves, robbers and anything you consider them are on the lookout and they won’t hesitate to relieve you of your cash and valuables. Oh and please, don’t think your head is hot as we Jamaican’s typical say, “me no fraid a no bwoy,” but that tone will quickly change when we are looking down the barrel of a gun.
Be extremely aware of your surroundings. Remember, awareness is noticing, knowing and responding. So, NEVER get caught off-guard, being alert to your surroundings gives you time to react. We all have a natural ability to sense danger. It’s just that some of us are more acute to sense and react to danger.
Always & I can’t stress this enough. ALWAYS, let someone know where you are! Yes I know young people, you want to feel big, you don’t want mummy or daddy to know where you going. However for your safety, share your location with someone you trust, you can never be too careful.
Lastly, just use your commonsense and be like a Ninja, eliminate distractions and heighten your senses, thus enhancing your awareness and sense of danger.