Gloria Henry recalls fondest Christmas memories
Christmas has always been the most favourite holiday for Gloria Henry, president of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica. Her most treasured holiday memory was seeing her youngest relatives ravaging all the presents under the Christmas tree in 2000.
"My most favourite Christmas memory was in 2000, when my daughter was three years old, and my nieces and nephew were home for that Christmas. I put up a Christmas tree, and they got up early in the morning and raced to the Christmas tree and started opening up all the presents, even the ones that weren't theirs," Henry told WESTERN STAR with a reflective smile.
"They apparently thought that everything under the tree was theirs. They opened everything, and they were having a great time and were just tearing up all the papers to get to the gifts; and it was just so amazing, seeing them have so much fun."
The excitement and anticipation of receiving Christmas gifts is something Henry herself can relate to, as she recalled that her own childhood Christmases were likewise filled with expectations of presents.
"When I was younger, I would look forward to the sorrel and getting gifts. We didn't have much, but just the idea of getting gifts was exciting, and the atmosphere was so different," said Henry.
But presents were not the only reason she had for enjoying Christmas, as even the simplest natural pleasures of the season were enough for her to love the holiday periods of her youth.
"I go back there in my mind many times. There were some Christmas plants that would come into bloom, the poinsettias, and there was this little purple, white and blue flower that we used to call the 'fee-fee,'" Henry said with a smile as she went back down memory lane.
"We would pick the 'fee-fee' and blow it on our way from school, and it was so beautiful. Plus, there was always this nice Christmas breeze, and everybody used to share what they have; if you killed a goat, you'd share it with everybody."
Comparing Christmas past to Christmas present, Henry said that the season has become more about profits and sales and less about sharing and goodwill over the decades.
"People don't share as much as they used to in those days. Now, it's a lot more commercial, with people looking forward to going to the stores and getting the bargains ... the whole spirit and atmosphere of Christmas isn't like how it used to be," Henry said.