Slowly, we got our house back in order after Hurricane Nina. There was a lot that had to be thrown out after the flood. My Mother was a spotless housekeeper and would never tolerate a dirty house, so I was recruited to help get the house back in order. The worst thing was all of the little critters crawling around on our floor. This was all several weeks before Christmas. We had to get new furniture and a new rug, but it was all completed before Christmas.
My friend Sarah and I wrote a poem about Hurricane Nina and Santa Claus. Actually, Sarah wrote most of it, but I helped. Sarah was artistic too, so we both also drew illustrations to the poem. It was published in the school newspaper.
Right before Christmas, the burning of the sugar cane fields began. It was a bizarre scene because while the burning occurred, black ashes fell from the sky. It was continuous for days, black ash floating through the sky. The locals called it "black snow", and everyone liked to joke about "...dreaming of a black Christmas". So I would stand outside, watching the black snow drift to the ground. Many of us would sing "White Christmas" and switch the word 'white' to 'black".
Some of my friends and I went caroling for Christmas. The Christmas season was always warm, usually in the 70's or 80's. So we walked through the neighborhood's singing our holiday songs in the warm weather, with the ground covered in black snow. One family gave us hot chocolate, the icing on the cake for perfect Christmas caroling. It all added up to a most unusual holiday season.