Even though 98% of my holiday shopping is done and I leave for home in two days, I wasn’t feeling particularly Christmassy. Until today.

My iAudio (a gift my husband got me last year. I highly recommend it for any of you who are looking for a digital audio device) was on shuffle, and it played my favorite holiday jam of all time, Christmas in Hollis by Run-DMC!

The video always makes me smile, and the song totally takes me back to being a kid. I hope it does the same for you!
It’s Christmas time in Hollis, Queens

Moms cookin’ chicken and collard greens

Rice and stuffing, macaroni and cheese

And Santa puttin’ gifts under Christmas trees…

Wherever you go, it’s the same thing. Food and family. But I’m sure my holiday traditions are way different from yours.

For Christmas in Trinidad we eat pastelles, ham, macaroni pie and callaloo. We drink sorrel and ginger beer.

I can’t wait for the first taste of my sister Petal’s infamous and deadly ponche de creme! Imagine a drink that combines the richness of eggnog with the potency of Bailey’s, with the slightest hint of citrus to cut the cloying sweetness of condensed milk. Mmmmmm.

I found some amazing Trini recipes on Trini Gourmet, and Can Cook, Must Cook, for you exotic recipe experimenters!

The second song that my iAudio played was Trini to de Bone by David Rudder and Carl Jacobs. David Rudder is like Trinidad’s equivalent to Bob Marley – a diverse and talented musician with powerful lyrics, who always pushes the genre forward. If you’re interested in hearing more of him, check out the video for one of his biggest hits, High Mas, which is basically a prayer for Trinidad delivered in the height of Carnival debauchery. Beautiful, powerful stuff. Carl Jacobs is a calypsonian and pop singer who migrated to Miami and plays before huge crowds every week at Monty’s in Coconut Grove. (He also played the music at our wedding, and was incredible!)

Those songs hit me like a one-two punch to the heart. Finally, I’m ready. All of this music and talk about food has me ready for Christmas day. I’m just so excited to see my family, to play with my niece Dominique (the littlest afrobella in our clan, she’s one and a half and a bundle of joy), to see how much things have changed and not changed at home. Just to get there and be able to say “Ah home!”

What about you, my fellow bellas? What part of the season are you most excited about? And what are your holiday traditions?

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