Holiday Gift Series Part 1: Peace

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This holiday season, Creators of Hope invites you to explore Jamaican holiday traditions (read: yummy recipes!), think about some of the greatest gifts the season offers, and think about how you might help to give those gifts to Jamaican families in the coming year and beyond.

In Jamaica, the Christmas season especially is a time for celebration. Not so much with the kinds of gifts you would buy at a store, but by bringing family and friends together and sharing meals. Traditional recipes, brought out only at the most special times of year, make up a big part of those holiday feasts.

One special recipe is Sorrel Punch. At thekitchn.com, Jamaican blogger Hali Bey Ramdene writes, “Sorrel is about hospitality. It’s the drink you welcome friends with during Christmas, and it’s the drink you give away. I have probably had more sorrel in my life outside of my home, which is exactly how it’s meant to be.”

Sorrel, or hibiscus, is planted in Jamaica in August, to be ready to pick at Christmastime. Fresh flowers are ideal for sorrel punch, but we here in the States can get the dried version at specialty grocery stores. Here’s how you make this traditional Jamaican beverage, courtesy of thekitchn.com:

Make Sorrel Punch!

Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Now let’s think about this week’s featured holiday gift: Peace. What does peace mean in your own life?

For a lot of us here in the States, the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year season feels way more crazy than peaceful. It’s hard to find tranquility when you’re racing from store to store, writing longer and longer shopping lists, frantically stringing lights, signing cards at the last minute, and trying to keep the cat from destroying the Christmas tree. How many of us have cranked up The Twelve Pains of Christmas on the radio and laughed until it hurt? And how many of us have wondered (I sure have) why we put ourselves through all this, year after year?

For Jamaica’s rural poor, the struggle to find peace during the holiday season takes a different form. Imagine wanting to bring all your loved ones together, but not having a safe home to share with them. Imagine trying to create a special day for your children, to give them a slice of happiness out of the daily stress and worry of life, but knowing your money won’t stretch enough even for a good meal.

At Creators of Hope, we want every family to share peace at the holidays and every day. 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!


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