Christmas dinner can be a contentious time for many. Here are a few golden rules to ease the stress.
- Thou shall not arrive before the agreed time.
There is no reason for you to go and sit in someone’s house, family or not from 2 pm. A rule of thumb in Jamaica is to be about 20 minutes late, that way you are right on time.
- Thou shall leave all bad-breed pickney a yuh yaad.
Parents, you know when your child has no behaviour and no manners, but you brush it of as hyperactive and imaginative. Do not bring you terror into someone’s house, family or not.
- Thou shall not bring new man or woman to Christmas dinner.
If you have not been with this person for at least eight months, let them go eat with their own people, please and thank you. This is not the time to introduce new people, especially if they’re not permanent fixtures.
- Thou shall not use Christmas to work out issues or whine about problems.
No one wants to know that your husband is having “manhood issues” nor do they want to know that your boss is the Devil. If you have nothing positive to share, please keep quiet. Suitable conversation topics include: funny anecdotes, gossip about absent family members and recapping issues in the media though politics is not allowed because you know that uncle Ralston is a staunch PNP and uncle Michael vote Labour. Let’s not go there, grandma can’t afford to lose no more crockery.
- Thou shall clear all photos with the cook before posting on social media.
It is only fair. After slaving away and spending so much hard-earned cash, aunty or granny or whoever that made the feast you are about to consume has earned the right to approve how their work is being presented to the world. Filters are always a great idea.
- Thou shall not walk into the house with new clothes or new hair style if they have been “broke” the whole year.
Some of you are notorious for this. Throughout the year, stuff happens, and your relatives reach out for help but “you don’t have it,” or two or three times for the year you borrow from auntie Jenny to pay a bill and never pay her back, yet you walk into the house with an outfit or hairdo worth double what she lent. If you do so, kindly remove all articles of clothing and hand them over to your creditor before you leave.
- Thou shall not leave with more than what you brought.
When fixing to-go plates, please follows these guidelines:
- You are entitled to one piece or spoonful of each meat
- Half a spoonful of gravy
- One serving of rice
- One serving of ONE side dish, and;
- One piece of Christmas cake OR pudding.
You can’t come in with your two long hands empty and walk out with a week’s worth of food. Nuttin no go so.
- Thou shall Bring Your Own Bottle.
If you know that grandma only has a bottle of whites in her house, ensure that you bring your own. Don’t go asking for Raspberry and Apple Vodka, or Jack Daniels when you know that she doesn’t know anything about that. Also, be sure to guard said bottle from uncle Charlie who walked in with no liquor, but a pack of disposable plastic cups.
- Thou shall not pray for more than 2 minutes.
People are hungry, and if you take too long Armageddon will certainly ensue. This is not the time to thank God for sending Brother Alton because you have been praying for a good man for years or pray for your co-worker’s husband mother, auntie Marcia. Keep it simple: thanks for the food, health and family. Bum, let’s eat!
- Thou shall not bring any food unless explicitly asked to.
Now, no one is saying that you can’t cook it’s just that your idea of seasoned and done may differ from someone else’s. Also, your definition of hygiene may differ from someone else’s. Please save yourself the embarrassment and other’s the anxiety; do not bring a dish unless requested.
Follow these simple rules and we will all have a Merry Christmas.