The Best things about Belizean Christmas

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By Thamar Jones
The holiday season is finally upon us, and although there are some dealing with sickness or grief or are worried that the Christmas money won’t be here on time, there is still much to be excited about because Christmas in Belize is unlike Christmas anywhere else! While some of our Christmas traditions are similar to other western countries, others are quite special and unique! Here is a list of the top 20 best thing about Christmastime here in the Jewel!

1. Christmas Trees: There is nothing more exciting than going to pick out a tree or dusting off last year’s and gathering around with the people you love to add all the lights and ornaments. It brightens up anyone’s day.
2. Cool weather: It might not snow in Belize but every year we look forward to that temperature drop giving us an excuse to pull out comforters, blankets and sweaters.
3. Snuggling: It’s cold outside, and this is the season to warm up with someone. There is no better time to snuggle up with someone in front of a movie with some hot chocolate.
4. Lights: Walking around and seeing all the pretty lights can make anyone smile. Everything just glistens more during this season.
5. Vacation Time: Whether you are a student anticipating Christmas break or in the real world waiting for time off from work, vacation time is always welcomed.
6. Hot Cocoa: Hot cocoa or hot chocolate warms the soul, and this is the best season for it.
7. A spotless house: We take Christmas cleaning very seriously in Belize. There is no cleaning like Christmas cleaning. Every nook and cranny is dusted and polished for Christmas. That new marley and new paint smell is now synonymous with Christmas in Belize and we all love it!
8. Christmas Parties: There are so many parties during this season! Everyone wants an excuse to get dressed up, indulge in our favorite foods, and spread the cheer.
9. Presents: The holidays shouldn’t be about the presents, but we all secretly love getting them. How can anyone not look forward to unwrapping a gift and being surprised?
10. Treats: This is one of the few seasons where treats are abundant, and there are no limits to how many apple and grapes, pears, walnut, chocolates and candy canes you can eat!
11. Carols and Music: Jingle Bells, Good Maanin’ Miss Lady, We wish you a merry Christmas, The Hat I got for Christmas is too BIG and all those others that we can help but hum to during this season sets the Christmas mood.
12. Christmas Sales: I won’t lie, Christmas shopping can be hectic, stressful and expensive, but would Christmas even be Christmas without the hustle and bustle of shopping downtown Albert Street?
13. Rumpopo: Also known as Belizean Bailey’s, rumpopo is the ultimate Christmas treat.
14. Christmas cakes: Black cake loaded with fruits and nuts are my favorite. White cakes with their sweet satisfying flavors are simply scrumptious and Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without these two Belizean specialties.
15. Christmas Ham: There are few things Belizeans love more Christmas ham (although I can’t think of any). We make the already delicious ham even better by coating it in Pineapple marmalade, mustard and brown sugar glazes and bake it for hours leaving our mouths watering and the house smelling like heaven.
16: Time of giving: Dropping a dollar or two in the Salvation Army’s Kettle, volunteering at a Christmas party at church or your child’s school; Christmas in Belize really does bring out the best in us all.
17. Time with friends and family: Visits from our favorite cousins and aunties from ‘States’ or from out of town are fantastic, and this is the time to gather and remember how lucky we are to have people around us who love us. Family can sometimes be agonizing, but at the end of the day, they will always be there.
18. Cheesy Christmas Movies: Christmas movies time is upon us, and it is time to pull out old favorites and get cozy.
19. Christmas Barrel: The Christmas Barrel is the most anticipated parcel of the year in Belize. Aunties and uncles living abroad, stock up a barrel or a few boxes with the essential Christmas curtains and bed sets, special treats and a few Christmas surprises. The Christmas barrel and the Christmas spirit usually arrive at about the same time in Belize!
20. The Holiday Cheer: The entire season brings a little extra bounce in your step, a smile to your face, and just all around happiness. The season gives us all a chance to feel like a kid again: Whether you are 5 or 85, the holiday season is a time to really just enjoy yourself and reflect on all the good things in life. It is such an amazing time of the year.
Happy holidays everybody!
What are your favorite things about Christmas in Belize?