The holiday season is here again, and in Jamaica it is undeniably the happiest time of the year. We go over the top for celebrations and Christmas is no exception. Tis’ the season for sorrel, freshly painted houses, big family gatherings, lavish dinners and lighted decorations.
December is weeks away but we are already seeing festive signs. Some plazas are gaily decorated and shop windows are displaying gift suggestions. There is even more frenzy on the roads, if that’s possible.
Everyone expects this Christmas to be special since it will be the first in two years without Covid-19-restrictions. Whatever excitement we feel, however, is tinged with much anxiety over something as simple as lighted decorations. In Jamaica’s case, the grinch who is stealing our Christmas is the power company,
It feels as though no holiday season passes without JPS dampening our mood with unconscionable electricity rates. We are held hostage to a poorly regulated utility so a large percentage of our earnings slip into their pockets. Many Jamaicans have to choose between buying food and paying their light bill. And now we find out the company never agreed to give consumers a decent grace time before disconnection. How rapacious is that?
So expect fewer presents under the tree this year, and many homes may forego the dazzling lights that are part of the Christmas spirit. The dinner spread may be short of some delectable dishes and the other kinds of spirits may not flow as abundantly as before. Of course, we will enjoy our Christmas season anyway, despite the corporate greed that hurts so many of us.