Sometimes, holiday togetherness can feel like too much of a good thing. When you have to see those in-laws: you know, the ones you have to sign a truce with, so you can be in the same room and not throw tableware at each other. Or there’s that one uncle who tells the same jokes every year, and he’s the only one who laughs at them. Or there are those cousins that you wonder if you’re actually related to, because you have exactly nothing in common. Sometimes it’s tough to sit around the table with everyone and nod and smile through another long meal.
But if you think about it, I’ll bet there are family rituals that you couldn’t imagine skipping at the holidays. Maybe you and those cousins can all agree on a board game, and when you play it, you feel a little more connected. Or maybe everyone loves the same holiday movie (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, anyone?). Or maybe you go in the kitchen with your favorite aunt and make a special dessert.
If you’re in the “special dessert” category, here’s a new one for you to try this year: authentic Jamaican Christmas cake.
This traditional recipe is all about abundance and delight. Dried fruit soaks in rum for weeks in order to be ready for the feast. It’s the perfect finale to a meal that celebrates all the best that the season offers.
Jamaican families prize togetherness above all else at the holidays. However you might feel about some of your own relatives, think about how it might feel not to see them every year, or not to have a safe space to share with them. Togetherness requires home to be really enjoyed. Imagine how it would feel if you didn’t have the time, the space, or the safety to have closeness with everyone you care about: even your uncle, with his crazy jokes.
At Creators of Hope, we want every family to have the chance to share holiday togetherness. That’s why our mission is to build homes for Jamaica’s rural poor, who are without this most essential source of security and safety.
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!