Here’s to a safe and blessed Christmas

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Andy Williams first sang Edward Pola’s, IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR in 1963, referring of course to the Christmas season. We here at NEWSCO agree wholeheartedly with Williams and his songwriter when they suggest: It’s the most wonderful time of the year / With the kids jingle-belling / And everyone telling you be of good cheer /  It’s the most wonderful time of the year / It’s the hap-happiest season of all / With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings / When friends come to call / It’s the hap-happiest season of all . . . / And hearts will be glowing / When loved ones are near / It’s the most wonderful time . . . / Of the year!” Indeed.

Of course, Christmas reminds us of those things that are most important – the coming of the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, so that MAN WILL LIVE FOREVERMORE. Remember, according to the scriptures, man was condemned to die on account of our original sin, but with the coming of our Redeemer, that sword of Damocles, so to speak, is no longer hanging over our heads. There is hope.  The joy that comes with that knowledge is immeasurable.

Sadly, our joy is tempered some this year, what with the sad news of the passing of Singing Francine, she of that exuberant 1979 Christmas classic, HURRRAY HURRAH. The  exultation and happiness in her voice is unmistakable as she excitedly sings, “For unto us a child is born / For unto us, an everlasting Son / Like a thief in the night / He shone His light /  For He meant no harm / He came to save us from damnation / [Chorus] Hurray, hurray, hurrah!/ Hurrah, hurrah! they say / Our Saviour is born today!/ In swaddling clothes He lie / While the shepherds cry / For they just couldn’t believe dey eyes / And when He come a Man / You know dem non-Christians / Get together and pong nails in He hand / But on the third day, He rose again /So you see, He shed His blood for we” Amen. May one of dearly-beloved Queens of Calypso, sleep in power and eternal peace.

Meanwhile, at this Christmas, we are also reminded to be generous and giving, in the spirit and grand tradition of the first and best gift-giver – our heavenly Father, He who gave His Only Son, followed by the famed trio from the East who gave gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the new-born Baby Jesus. Seems, the songwriter was on to something when he summoned the believers, O, COME ALL YE FAITHFUL [Adeste Fidelis]. May we learn the lessons of that first Christmas, following in the footsteps of those who came to worship and adore, with grateful and giving hearts. May that essential element of Christmas never elude us.

Of course, may we also feel the Christmas breeze, as did King Obstinate in CHRISTMAS IN THE WEST INDIES, partying until New Year’s morning. Naturally, there must be copious amounts of ginger beer, eggnog, sorrel and guavaberry, especially since family members and friends will be making house calls, singing, “GOOD MARNIN’ GOOD MARNIN’ . . . And how are you dis marnin’ / And may your souls be merry / We come fuh we guavaberry!” And not forgetting the RUM AND DE PONCHE CREMA, as so delightfully exhortedby Lord Kitchener. It is generally acknowledged that the rum and the ponche crema go very well with MAMA’S JOHNNY CAKES.

Not surprisingly, Antiguans and Barbudans, will be joining the effort to “Move Santa from the North Pole, because it’s too cold,” and we will be leaving our front doors open for him, because, much like Lord Nelson, “We find that climbing up a roof and coming down a chimney is a whole lot of stupidness.” To be sure, our ladies will be careful that none of our children see them kissing Santa Claus. After all, “What a laugh it would have been / If daddy had only seen / Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night.” Hmmmmm! Laugh? We suggest that rather than that kiss being an occasion for merriment and mirth, a melee would have ensued, with daddy accusing mommy of fraternising withJOLLY OLE ST NICK. So when the kids are asking, HOW WILL SANTA GET HERE? we suggest that daddy will shrug his shoulders and mutter, “Who cares?”

Ah yes, Christmas is a most delightful time of year – the good energy, the good vibes. May the “Peace and the goodwill on earth toward men,” of which the Scriptures speak, abound in our hearts, not only at Christmas, but throughout the entire year. Here’s wishing all Antiguans and Barbudans a safe, joyous and blessed Christmas 2022.

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