Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » Swift Note Trini Christmas


Ho, ho, ho

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers. I thank you for stopping by over that last few months. The first Christmas started with a family, please continue to enjoy your family and friends.

What to do

The town will be quieter over the break. Consider Boxing Day. No it does not mean putting on gloves and the use of a bell, rather it is a day that keeps in mind those less fortunate than we are. Although difficult to determine why "boxing" was chosen, my poetic interpretation is boxing up those things that the poor could use and making those items available to them. It has its roots as St. Stephen's Day, the feast day of the first martyr of Christianity which follows Christmas Day. I first learned of Boxing Day when I celebrated the Christmas season while visiting my in-laws in Trinidad. I still wonder if Trinis leave a doubles for Santa Claus instead of cookies and milk!

Speaking of Christmas

Remember the season lasts 12 days! As a Catholic, we are in a sense to celebrate those 12 as if they were Christmas Day itself. That means a lot of cheer, foods, and Punch de Creme. Yet another cultural phenomenon of Trinidad and Tobago!

Mince pie

In one time and place, it was illegal of sorts to eat mince pie. Why? Well it was used as a festive dish for Catholics. When persecution of Catholics became the par in Britain, certain celebrations became against the law. The Act of Parliament in 1644 compelled shops to remain open for the holy day. Mince pie was labeled as heathen food. In Trinidad and Tobago, they are Pastelle Pie and we see a similar food here with the Mexican cultural food of tamales. Coming in a near second to the meat inside the bread, the capers are my favorite part of the Pastelle pie!
Christmas Trivia

At this time of year, Nativity scenes are everywhere. The extra-liturgical practice began with one of the most famous Catholic saints, St. Francis of Assisi. “Extra” here means “outside” rather than “more.”

So, “Have yourself a (Trini) little Christmas.”

I will be in and out over the Chrsitmas season trying my hardest to continue the celebration. I may not be able to blog so much. Although I promise pictures of my wife's Pastelle dish she promised to make!