Love and friendship are the hallmarks of Jamaican holidays, no matter where you live, or what kinds of struggles you may be confronting. Even families fighting a daily uphill battle with poverty honor the season in every way they can. It’s doubly important, when life hits you with its worst, to find sources of happiness.
This week’s featured holiday gift is Joy. What gives you the most joy at the holidays?
Chances are, it’s not the “stuff” you might get, although a special and heartfelt gift from someone who knows what delights you can definitely be a source of happiness. But maybe you get the most joy from giving, rather than getting: watching a loved one’s face light up because you gave them something they would never have considered splurging on for themselves. Or maybe your source of joy is seeing family members and friends you don’t get to visit often, reconnecting with them, sharing stories and hugs. Or maybe it’s getting your kitchen fix on: preparing special cookies, or a holiday cake, or a meal you only get to make at this special time each year.
Speaking of special meals, let’s look at our second Jamaican holiday recipe: peas and rice, with curry chicken.
Make peas and rice!
Make curry chicken!
For families throughout Jamaica, this meal is essential at the holidays. Even families struggling with poverty do all they can to put this feast together, because it’s so important to honor the day and the time of year. Traditionally, the recipe is made with gungo peas, also called pigeon peas, but blackeye peas work well too. Goat, pork, and oxtail are also used instead of or in addition to chicken.
Think about how much it means to you to have the people you love together under one roof during the holidays. Then think about what a challenge it would be not to be sure you could keep yourself and your family safe even on one sacred day of the year.
That’s why Creators of Hope has the mission to build homes for Jamaica’s rural poor. Rooted in the stability of home, families can flourish and build a better future.
We want every family to have the chance to share holiday joy. Try out this week’s recipe, learn more about us and our mission, and consider giving us a gift this holiday season. Donate in honor of your own loved ones, to help another family celebrate with theirs!