Click to enlargeWest Indian Nativity

I spent my early years in the West Indies - Trinidad, to be exact. I've never forgotten the beautiful women and children, the hard-working men (and sometimes whole families) who chopped sugar cane, labored on banana and cocoa plantations, and brought on the oil fields.

It was a tough life. But despite hardship and inequities, there was a sense of joy and solidarity that rang loud and clear through Trinidad's vibrant calypso songs and steel bands. "Trinis" had a genius for creating art from things more affluent people throw away. They knew how to make the most of what they had.

Christmas was best of all! I remember the carols we sang, the Christmas dishes, the celebration. I remember the abundance of food we raised ourselves: savory goat and chicken, mangos, breadfruits, bananas, papayas, fried rice and plantains. I remember a creche where Nativity figures were Trinidadian. It seemed right then. It seems right now. Christmas comes in every color of the rainbow!

To see West Indian Nativity as an ecard with music, click here. You need to purchase an Annual Membership to send her as an ecard. Membership costs $19.95, and entitles you to send as many ecards as you like for one year.

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