Christmas is a holiday that is celebrated worldwide and is associated with a great deal of shopping and festive activities. It is the time of the year that families come together to have a jolly good time by eating, drinking and even dancing to Christmas-inspired melodies.
Shivana Deolall’s destroyed property
Given its family-oriented nature, the Christmas season is one that sees many family members doing their utmost to reunite, but there are some who are, at times, unavoidably absent.
But there are many who are keeping the tradition alive and well today by embracing the notion ‘when this time of year approaches, in the comfort of your own home is the best place to be’.
Natasha Morrison certainly has an appreciation of the importance of being home at Christmas.
Since having a joyous Christmas is dependent on having a home to celebrate, Morrison and her children have decided to cancel their celebrations this year. It wasn’t a decision they made willingly, rather, a fire of destructive proportions at their Lot EE Bent Street, Georgetown home on December 6, 2019, was the instigator.
The 32-year-old woman had shared the home with her two children, ages 13 and 11.
While the last Christmas season found Morrison engrossed in the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the holidays, this
The gutted premises of Amoutie Premraj
year it has found her with no fixed place of abode.
But before the inferno, Morrison had plans to make this year’s Christmas enjoyable for her children. “I wanted to give them a memorable surprise for the holiday season,” she shared, as she recalled how her children were anxiously looking forward to Christmas Day.
In fact, Morrison disclosed that her preparation for Christmas was well underway when fire destroyed her home.
Although distressed by the unfortunate hand life dealt her, Morrison said that she is even more distraught over the possible impact such a dilemma can have on her kids, especially at this time of year.
“Christmas is what every child looks forward to and my kids are no different; my son would usually count down the days until Christmas, all because he can’t wait to unwrap his presents, and, as for my daughter, she does wake up since 4 o’ clock on Christmas morning with the
What remains of Natasha Morrison’s home
aim of not missing a beat,” said Morrison.
Despite her losses, Morrison continues to wear a smile and extends heartfelt hope that all those who can, should strive to have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
But the Morrisons’ household is not the only one to face a fiery tragedy days before Christmas.
Forty-one-year-old Shivana Deolall of Lot 657 8th Street, South West Cummings Lodge, Greater Georgetown, recalled how her Christmas shopping was brought to a tragic end after her home was completely destroyed by fire on December 9, 2019. The woman had shared the home with her husband and two children, ages 21 and 11.
In an interview, the woman said that of all the things she endured for 2019, the destruction of her house was the worst. Shaking her head in dismay, Deolall said losing her home to fire was painful, since she had to struggle to build it. She said she and her family were unable to save anything, including the more than 30 meat birds she was fattening for the holidays.
According to Deolall, the inferno has essentially halted her family’s involvement in the Christmas celebrations this year. “My entire family was looking forward to being part of the celebration this year and now look what happened. I am now staying by my sister until I’m able to rebuild a home for myself.”
Amoutie Premraj and her family
“As a mother and a Guyanese woman, I does look forward to celebrating Christmas every year with my family and friends. In my house the smell of pepper pot does be in the air since December 22. I start my Christmas shopping since November and I was almost done with shopping when the fire destroyed my home,” the woman related as she reflected on past Christmases.
“It hasn’t been easy letting go of Christmas plans,” said Deolall, as she shared “This style of celebrating Christmas is something I got from my mother, my mother used to take down all the window curtains from her home since the beginning of October month and leave the windows just like that until she buys new curtains, and then she would pay somebody to scrub or paint the house. So when Christmas Day arrives all houses on the street does look brand new, including ours,” Deolall recounted.
Although Deolall is not celebrating Christmas today like old times, she too has extended warm Christmas greetings and hope for the entire nation.
Joining the other two families to extend holiday greetings to the nation is 62-year-old Amoutie Premraj. She lost her Lot 35 North Sophia home, which she shared with her two grandchildren and disabled husband, on October 7, 2019.
According to Premraj, although she does not have her own home to be in this Christmas, it is still her duty to make sure her family has a good time.
“Me, my husband and our grandkids are staying by a family member, but I will not allow that to bother me, I am going to have a good Christmas this year,” she assured.