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23rd Day of Christmas- Recycling at Christmas

While you celebrate this year, here are some environmentally friendly practices for householders. Furniture and Household Items Many furniture and household items can be recycled for the holiday season. For example, instead of discarding furniture they can be refreshed, repurposed and renewed.  Items that are still usable can be donated…

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25 Days of Christmas

22nd Day of Christmas – Public Beaches

There are a number of Public beaches islandwide. Below are some that are operated by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC). Dunn’s River Falls – St. Ann Long Bay Beach Park – Negril, St. Ann Bluefields Beach – Westmoreland Fort Clarence – Portmore, St. Catherine Turtle River – Ocho Rios, St.…

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25 Days of Christmas

21th Day of Christmas – Places to visit

During the Christmas holidays, families sometimes take the opportunity to visit various locations across the island, such as national parks, heritage sites and beaches . Here are some locations you may consider visiting this holiday season. National Parks Access to the parks are usually free of cost and are open…

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25 Days of Christmas

20th Day of Christmas – Christmas Sayings

In Jamaica, folk customs and beliefs have formed part of the overall value system and practices for centuries. Jamaican Christmas celebrations also have a set of closely held beliefs and sayings that influence the practices during and after the season. Some Jamaican sayings linked to Christmas and the New Year…

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25 Days of Christmas

19th Day Of Christmas – Christmas Fruit Cake

A “must have” for Christmas is fruit cake. Many persons start ‘soaking’ the fruits – prunes, cherries, raisins and currants – months in advance.   In most families, baking Christmas cakes or puddings is a whole-day family activity. Young children are tasked with washing mixing bowls or preparing baking utensils lined…

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25 Days of Christmas

18th Day of Christmas – Christmas Day Breakfast & Dinner

Christmas is the season of spreading good cheer, of spending time with family and of sharing, caring and giving. In the spirit of the season, family reunions commonly take place during Christmas and into the New Year. An important part of a Christmas family gathering is the meal. As families…

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25 Days of Christmas

17th Day of Christmas – Food Safety Tips

As you prepare for your dinner on Christmas Day, here are some food safety tips.   When purchasing groceries, check the expiry dates carefully. Inspect meat and fish thoroughly before purchasing. Clear eyes indicate that fish is fresh. If the flesh of a fillet fish is crumbling, do not buy…

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25 Days of Christmas

16th Day of Christmas – Eating Healthy at Christmas

A large part of the Jamaican Christmas is the wide variety of sumptuous foods that is usually available. However, due to dietary restrictions some persons are unable to partake of the delightful feasts. Limiting portions and eating healthy substitutes are creative ways to ensure that persons can enjoy the food…

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25 Days of Christmas

15th Day of Christmas – Cooking the Christmas Dinner

Jamaicans use both modern and traditional cooking methods and/or utensils to prepare the Christmas dinner.   A few are described here. Coal Stove: This is a popular cooking equipment that has withstood time. It is a small charcoal/wood fuelled cooker with a basin-like top covered by a flat metal grille. Any…

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25 Days of Christmas

14th Day of Christmas – Gungo Peas & Christmas

For many Jamaicans, gungo peas are an essential part of the Christmas Day menu. Gungo peas are the desired peas for the traditional rice and peas or as a part of the Gungo Peas Soup, the latter is a favourite appetizer before the main Christmas dinner.  More often than not,…

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25 Days of Christmas

13th Day of Christmas – Goodwill at Christmas

During the Christmas season in Jamaica, various groups participate in the giving of gifts and organising of treats for the more vulnerable groups in communities and state-run institutions. Corporate, church and civic groups traditionally visit schools, children’s and nursing homes, and medical institutions bearing gifts and tasty treats.  Some also…

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25 Days of Christmas

12 Day of Christmas – NSWMA Offers Special Pick up Service

Over the festive season, the commercial department of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is offering a special service to private persons to dispose of garbage generated as a result of the festivities. For a fee, the client has the option of accessing the service either to collect or…

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25 Days of Christmas

11th Day of Christmas – Games at Christmas

For many children, buying balloons was an annual undertaking at Christmas time at small community shops. Shop keepers would mount a packet of over a hundred balloons of varying sizes and, for a small price, a child could scratch a card for the chance to get a balloon. There was…

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25 Days of Christmas

10th Day of Christmas -Christmas Flowers

In Jamaica, seasonal flowers, such as the bright red poinsettia, are used as Christmas decorations. The flower is associated with good cheer, success, and celebration, making it an appropriate staple for the Christmas season. The popular flower, along with other winter blooms are made into wreaths, which are generally used…

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25 Days of Christmas

9th Day of Christmas – Jamaican Christmas Carols

Christmas carols bring their own flavour to the season. Over the years, many local artistes have recorded carols.  Some are traditional lyrics remixed against the reggae beat, while others have been original compositions, both lyrics and music. Some of the popular Jamaican Christmas songs and their artistes are listed here. …

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25 Days of Christmas

8th Day of Christmas – The National Pantomime

The National Pantomime has been in existence since 1941, having premiered on Boxing Day (December 26) at the Ward Theatre. The Pantomime usually opens from Boxing Day through to May of the following year. This annual production is a colourful display of the customs and trends of the Jamaican society;…

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25 Days of Christmas

7th Day of Christmas – Sorrel Drink

Steeped/drawn, boiled or blended are some of the common methods of making sorrel. It is an essential drink at Christmas time for many Jamaicans who would feel cheated if they did not have any sorrel during the season. Many persons have their own recipe and method of making sorrel. Do…

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25 Days of Christmas

6th Day of Christmas – Ginger Beer

Jamaica is reputed to produce the finest quality ginger in the world.  It is used mainly to flavour puddings, cakes, sweets, the sorrel drink, and to make tea and ginger beer. Ginger Beer is a favourite drink at Christmas time.  Here is a recipe for you to try this Christmas…

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25 Days of Christmas

5th Day of Christmas -Christmas Spruce-up

Are you familiar with Genie floor polish, coconut brush, and white lime? These were essential items used by Jamaicans in the past to ‘clean up’ or decorate their homes just before Christmas Day. It was customary for floors that were not tiled to be polished, (no matter how modest) and…

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25 Days of Christmas

4th Day of Christmas – Gran Market

Grand Market popularly referred to as “Gran’ Market” is one of the most anticipated events of the Christmas season.  It is held in all major towns across Jamaica on Christmas Eve. Gran’ Market is usually a colourful and energetic affair that provides the opportunity for shoppers to make last minute…

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25 Days of Christmas