One of the bummers about living in Haiti is that the classic Christmas jingle “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” is never really true here. Sure they have a few buildings with decorations and there are French Christmas carols on the radio, but the weather stays pretty much exactly the same, there are no malls in which you can burn away your savings, and you aren’t constantly berated by Christmas ads on TV (we don’t have one anyways). While that may sound incredibly materialistic, it’s kind of a total drag to not be totally eviscerated by Christmas joy come December.
So to compensate for the lack of Christmas spirit, we’ve taken some steps to make up for it. For instance, the picture above is a (somewhat) failed attempt to get a Santa hat on Olie. All he wanted to do was chew on it, so the only way to pummel the Christmas spirit into this puppy was to cover his entire head with the hat. That will teach him to be jolly!
Secondly, because of deforestation in Haiti (I’m assuming), they don’t sell Christmas trees here. As an alternative you can buy a bunch of branches which are spray-painted white and then held together by cement in a used paint can (no joke). They sell these on the side of the road for $10 a pop, and if you can get past the paint fumes while you decorate, they light up quite nicely.
Thirdly, to make sure that you enter our house with the maximum amount of Christmas cheer, we’ve wrapped the door with some ridiculously bright LED lights and put up a bouquet of eucalyptus and tiny red berries. It gives a Christmas vibe, and at the same time smells pretty good when you walk in the door. We got the eucalyptus and berries at the flower market in Petionville, and the lights came from the States due to an incredible amount of foresight on the part of yours truly.
All of this coupled with about two dozen recently downloaded Christmas songs on iTunes equals what can only be considered a Haitian Christmas wonderland. And while we have done our best to get in the Christmas mood here, in the end, Jillian and I are actually heading to Connecticut for Christmas, and won’t actually be spending it in Haiti. We are in desperate need of a break, and have moved our tickets to the 19th so that we can avoid any craziness that may ensue after the final elections results are scheduled to be announced on the 20th. Olie will be coming with us and will hopefully experience snow for the first time in his short puppy life. Don’t worry, there will be pictures…
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays tout moun!