Who Says Christmas Can't involve Origami, Plantain, and Hugh Grant

by Nana Malone

Every family has their holiday traditions. My family always let us open one present on Christmas Eve. In Ghana before any talk of presents comes in, we do the tour of grandparents and uncles and aunties. And we eat ourselves into a stupor. Presents come after that. And of course there’s the partying and dancing. Ghanaians love a good party

One of my favorite traditions is actually an inherited one from my husband’s family. For every present, a note is written to accompany it. And you have to guess what the present is before you can open it. As you can imagine, this makes for a long present opening ceremony. You also have to start with the smallest present first. It’s nerve wracking, but actually a lot of fun.

It was a hard one to get used to, but it makes sure everyone puts thought into every present. I stepped up the tradition a couple of years ago and started folding my notes into Origami shapes. You should see my husband and I trying to outdo each other now.

Also, for me, nothing says Christmas like Fruit Cake, Egg Nog and Plantain…

Plantain you ask, scratching your head. You’ve seen it in the grocery store in the exotic fruit section. It sort of looks like a giant banana. Growing up in Ghana, plantain is a staple. And I love it anyway you can make it. Seasoned with salt and pepper and fried. Cut up into little pieces and fried.

Shoot you don’t even have to fry it. Bake it, boil it any way I’ll eat it. Plantain can be made either a sweet or savory. I prefer sweet with a hint of savory. One of my all time favorite recipes is below. Emjoy!


4 very ripe plantains

1 large onions

2 Tblsp fresh grated ginger

1 clove crushed garlic

1 Cup Flour

Salt to taste

Cayenne pepper to taste

Mix together and scoop spoonfuls to fry in hot oil. Makes the most delicious little pancakes.

Let me know how you like it!

And one final tradition I just can’t do without -- I love a hot man with my mistletoe.

That’s why I love the movie Love Actually. It’s my all time favorite. It’s got young love, unrequited love, enduring love, and even pseudo porn star love. What’s not to love?

Did I mention Hugh grant and Mr. Darcy himself, Colin Firth? Liam Neeson and Alan Rickman. And hold on to you knickers ladies, but it also has Brazilian Love God, Rodrigo Santoro. If that doesn’t just say yum, I don’t know what does.

Oh yeah, there are also some lovely vignettes with romance to spare and excellent actors like Bill Nighy, Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson.

I you haven’t seen it, add it to your must view list. Pull up a comfy chair, a warm blanky, some hot chocolate and cuddle up with the hotties of Christmas.

Who are your favorite Christmas hotties? And no, Santa doesn’t count unless he’s carting diamonds.

Images, courtesy of Google Images


  1. Nana, for me Christmas doesn't really have a particular meal. And I am now trying to develop new traditions of my own. since growing up, and having some siblings married and moved out etc., the old family traditions are gone for the most part. So here's tp new beginnings this year. Maybe I should get a tree...


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