Happy Holidays by Jennifer Lubin
Happy Holidays, my fellow Islanders, and lovers of everything Haitian! Welcome to Jen’s Corner at Tripotage, Magazine—your daily resource for south Florida Haitian gossip, politics, advice, fashion, and beauty. We are overjoyed that you’ve chosen to take this ride with us!

We are ending what has been quite a memorable year (to say the least) and are gearing up for what will surely prove to an equally exciting 2012. I wanted to therefore share a few holiday tips to help get everyone in the right holiday spirit. Some things to keep in mind as we enter the last few holiday weeks and prepare for the New Year:

1. Don’t be cheap with your loved ones. Yes, we are still in a recession and times are still very tough for many people. But that shouldn’t be an excuse for you to limit how you express your love and appreciation to the people that matter the most in your life this holiday season. The last time I checked, the gift of time is still free so offer to do something that won’t break the bank: offer to take the kids out for an afternoon to give your spouse/partner some alone time or offer to cook dinner for a week by slipping your very own “Love Coupon” for such services into a nice card (that can still be found for under $4 at your nearest Walgreens or CVS); give the gift of nightly massages—scented oils are still relatively un-expensive and a massage can lead to you getting a “gift” of your own in return. Gentlemen: buy your lovely lady a romantic CD and dedicate a few songs to her (making sure that the song’s words are actually what you’re trying to express; “Ni**as in Paris “ might not be the most romantic way to tell your boo you love her so stay away from the Gangster Rap section of the Target music department when picking out the appropriate tunes.) Basically, be creative and use your imagination, Ayisyen. Our people have been known to NOT think outside of the box when it comes to romance so let’s rid ourselves of that bad reputation once and for all in 2012, shall we?

2. Another thing to keep in mind during the holidays is “dinner guest etiquette.” If you’ve been invited to a friend or family member’s house for holiday dinner and you choose to go, make sure to BRING SOMETHING other than yourself. Some of our people just love to mooch: you show up time and time again and Mere Choupettes or Matante Tata’s house for holiday meals empty handed and you never stick around to even bother helping with the dishes after you’ve liked just about ever bowl clean. Your excuse? Because she “insisted” that you relax and not lift a finger. Cook a dish to bring over and contribute to the meal or just stop by Publix and pick something up on your way over, even if its flowers to express thanks. Haitian men need to stop showing up to their Mom’s , Aunts, Girlfriend’s, and Mistresses’ houses empty handed. If you can eat the food and drink Barbancourt, then you can pick something up on your way over. Another no-no is directed at parents with numerous bad a**children: don’t let those kids shameless jump all over the furniture you know darned well that your host is very protective of because that’s just wrong. Keep those kids in check!

3. Speaking of mistresses, try to keep the “holiday affairs” to a minimum. This holiday season, show a little respect for your wives and husbands, n’est pas? If you’re married or are living with your significant other and that significant other believes that she or he is your “one and only,” then don’t go taking money out of the joint savings accounts to buy gifts for the mistresses that live right around the corner because that just ‘aint right. Basically, mistresses, jump offs, and side honies should not be expecting gifts from people who have established families that they don’t choose to hide from the outside world. Basically: if everyone doesn’t know you even exist, you shouldn’t get a gift, plain and simple
4. And lastly: Enjoy yourselves! ‘Tis the season to be merry. Please don’t beat your wives. Don’t start silly fights over the sauce pois having too much salt in it ‘cause at the end of the day, if you cooked it, it probably wouldn’t have tasted any better. Don’t punish the kids too excessively for their report card grades right before the holiday break because Lord knows you probably had questionable grades back in middle school and, around the holidays back then, you were probably so excited about the upcoming Christmas break that studying for your spelling tests was the last thing on your mind. Extend to your kids the kind of patience and understanding that you prayed for years ago when your Mom was preparing the rigwaz to beat you down because of the C- you brought home the day before Christmas break. Remember that? Yeah, I bet you do. ‘Cause it hurt.

I’m looking forward to an exciting year (plus) with Tripotage Mag! Join me in Jen’s Corner each month where we will be discussing all of the latest gossip and buzz concerning our very interesting Haitian and general island community. We will be keeping you up to date on the hottest parties, bals, movies, and goings-on in south Florida. Jen’s Corner will also feature an advice section where you can write in your anonymous (or not so anonymous) questions. You will get responses that are heartfelt, witty, and most definitely “real.” Warning: if you are seeking nonsensical advice that your rizez girlfriends give to you to set you up for failure, or if you want responses that just tell you what you want to hear, don’t bother writing in because Jen’s Corner isn’t for babies. 😉