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De grinches teef de Christmas


It’s Christ-mas so ah off de Stealect-shuns till next year. Ley de Pee-to-shun in Courts tek care ah things. Dey’s merit in Doctor Gunsalves’s statement as he react to de protest: “De only place for the adjudication of an election is de court of law!”

Except to say dat in 1998 when de shoes was on de other foot, Arm-in was a Minister in Office and Gonsalves was Awe-pose-it-shun on de streets, calling foh ah human shield to be formed around him; NDP had 8 seats and ULP 7 seats, back den de Court of Law was ignored, all Adjudication took place on de streets, blocking of roads, Sir Louis ensured dey were tight like ah virgin; dey close down de country.{{more}} Yes in 1998, we were allowed to protest and demon-stray-it freely. Sir Walter Scott words of nearly 300 years ago still stands today: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

Ah must add-myth dat de Elect-shuns results kill me Christ-mas feelings. But ah tek comfort in de movie: “How de Grinch stole Christ-mas.” Our Grinch in SVG have five years in which to call Elect-shuns, but foh “Three years in ah Row” dey stretched de time limit to de very last month when we Christians, even 7th Day Adventists and Jehovah Witness join in celebray-shun of de Birth of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ whether thru our religious or cultural festivities, de Novena and Vincy Nine Mornings.

Foh many ah we at home and abroad, Christ-mas means Peace and Love even if it’s only foh ah day. Foh us oldah folks, Christ-mas was different, eating cake, drinking sorrel and ginger beer. Dah was de only time ah de year when ah child got ah whole bottle ah Ju-c, when ah Ju-c tasted like ah Ju-c! Christ-mas was when ah cake was not ah pack ah powder mix, No! dat’s when de Cake was made from scratch, each kid had ah bowl or calabash either melting de sugar and butter, or beating de eggs, den Mammy or Granny using “try-all and error” would add de flower and de fruits soaked in Gonsalves Black Wine, last week ah tasted Murphy Black Wine and it’s good. Finally de cake was baked outdoors, in ah oil drum oven wid fire on top and below.

Every Christ-mas ah remember my beloved, deceased God-mother, Margaret Minors’ Black Cake. Ah planning foh Ann Joshua, she gave away my Black Cake last year. And ah bigging-up my sister in Christ, Dorothy Browne of Mespo early, she does mek ah good Black Cake too. My new fan ah lickle Black Sister at de Cruise Ship Berth requested ah big-up too. Lie-Za upset how ah talking only bout Black dis, dat and de other. She betting me dat George Bush never eat ah piece ah Black…. Cake in de night yet.

While long ago de Nine Mornings was walk and Lime, is different today. Thru-out SVG, from Fancy and Fitz Hughes in de North; to Union Island in de South, is street concerts wid lights. Ah notice dis year wid de except-shun of GECCU and Richmond Hill Gardens, Kingstown in darkness, maybe ah reflect-shun of ah country languishing in men-tell or is it spirit-tell darkness! Tells yuh dat yuh don’t kill Love today and give it back life tomorrow. We have ah lot ah healing to do.

But de kids in particular, been psyche-in-up dey-self anxiously looking forward to de Nine Mornings, if only to grace or brace de stage and do dey thing, dey look forward to de Lighting Up ah de communities, or de Christmas Tree with de presents from Santa. In my day Santa was invisibly real, we never saw him, some ah we wrote him many ah letter, he never replied, but always passed every Christ-mas Eve night, when we were sleeping, foh goodness sake, left ah gift in Granny’s ole stocking at de bed-head.

Even Lie-Za keep asking: “Way’s de Christ-mas, de Vincy Nine Mornings, de Soul and Spirit, de Music, way’s CP and de Bowmans’, de Choirs, de Steel Bands?” Ah tell her “De Grinch and dem teef it!” Den she say she go tell PM Arm-in when he filing Pee-to-shun Charges against de Grinch and dem foh stealing de Elect-shun, add another charge ‘gainst dem foh “Stealing de Christ-mas!” Provokingly ah said “Dey kill two birds wid one stone!” Den she asked: “ yuh think if dey really kill two birds dey could be charged foh murder as well!” Ah told her put it differently “ Foh pull-it-to-kill-in de two birds wid one stone!”

De bitter and grouchy Ole Grinch was hoping dat would ah ruin everybody’s ‘Spirit of de Season’ when he stole all de Christmas-themed items from all de homes on Christ-mas Eve, but was stumped when he heard all de villagers singing lustily, some ah de most beautiful Christ-mas Carols: “Joy to de world! Oh come let us adore Him.” Dey had Spirit! De Grinch was moved to return every single item he had stolen, in exchange, he was treated like ah VIP by de villagers dat Christ-mas. Vincent-shun brothers and sisters, let not de Grinch kill our Spirit. Let us sing “Christians Awake” as we celebrate de birth of Jesus! And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.