‘Back in Time Christmas Grab and Go’

Members of SVG Nurses Association of New York with ‘Grab-and-Go’ Christmas gifts.
Photo by Nelson A. King

The Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nurses Association of New York on Saturday hosted its inaugural “Back in Time Christmas Vincy-Style Grab and Go” at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center on Logan Street in East New York, Brooklyn.

“The event was a great success, and we do look forward to planning similar ones in the future,” Dionne Crichton-Bailey, coordinator of the event, told Caribbean Life, adding that it’s customary for her group to host a bi-annual Christmas event as one of its fundraisers.

Crichton-Bailey, a former president, who currently serves as vice president, said her group began, in September, to brainstorm about “what we can do this year in the midst of a pandemic.

“I realized many organizations were having ‘Grab and Go’ events, and thought it would be nice to have a similar but different event,” she said, disclosing that she mentioned the notion to her cousin, Candace Beach, who is also a member of the nursing group.

“And, right away, we started reminiscing about the wonderful times we enjoyed as kids at Christmas season in Layou (a town in Central Leeward in St. Vincent and the Grenadines), with our grandmother, siblings and neighbors,” Crichton-Bailey added.

“The preparation of food and the overall excitement of taking packages of food to neighbors and the less fortunate are somethings to remember,” she continued. “It was such a spirit of giving and sharing.”

Crichton-Bailey said the idea was shared with other members of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nurses Association of New York, “and everyone was quite excited and enthusiastic about having an event of this nature.”

Table with Christmas goodies. Pamela Griffin/SVG Nurses Association of New York

She said immediate preparation began, with the menu comprising homemade bread, sweet bread, black cake, home-cooked ham, sorrel, ginger beer “and an added surprise of a small bottle of St. Vincent and the Grenadines wine.

“Whistles and balloons, which every kid back in the day enjoyed at this season, were also an added surprise,” said Crichton-Bailey, adding that the menu was “prepacked and beautifully wrapped in a platter, and delivered in a lovely green or red Christmas bag.”

She said the venue was beautifully decorated with Christmas cards strung across the walls.

Crichton-Bailey said the side tables, with doilies, were decorated with Christmas cards, and that the Christmas tree was “beautifully lit, with bits of cotton wool representing snow to show that ‘back-in-time look.’”

She also said a pot on the coal pot represented the ham being cooked.

“Christmas music from ‘back-in-the-day’ kept us all in the Christmas spirit,” Crichton-Bailey said.

“We pray the pandemic situation subsides, which would allow us to have bigger events,” she added, thanking members “who worked tirelessly to make this event the success it was.

“We would also like to thank everyone who supported us in one way or another,” Crichton-Bailey continued.

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