T’Shura Gibbs, CEO of Montego Bay-based health and wellness distribution company Zimmer and Company, was six years old when she received an opportunity to share Christmas cake with garbage collectors, street sweepers, and a milkman the week before Christmas.
“My fondest and [most] memorable experience of Christmas was 38 years ago when my mother afforded me the opportunity to share with people who made our life comfortable by delivering Christmas cakes to key persons in my community,” Gibbs told THE STAR. “What I clearly recall is that the week leading up to Christmas was an exciting time because Mummy would cut up cakes, and [I remember] wrapping them and delivering them to the milkman, the garbage collector, and the street sweepers.”
She added: “It was always great to see how happy they were in receiving these Christmas cakes from us. It was just our way of showing our appreciation for the services they gave to us during the year.”
That aside, Gibbs recalled receiving many dolls for Christmas from her mother, Ruby Jagdath, as well as several aunts and uncles.
According to Gibbs, these dolls provided a platform for her to build up her skills and confidence in becoming the much-sought-after public speaker she is now.
“I would line up these little baby dolls or have them sit down and speak to them, whether a lecture or teaching them. I would stand and talk to them as though I was a teacher in a classroom or as though I were on a stage addressing an audience. That, I would say, helped me to make me the person I am today,” said Gibbs.
“I was about six years old when I started to change, wash, and hang out to dry my dollies’ clothes, and to include combing their hair. I don’t have any dolls today, but I cherished those gifts because I knew they came from the heart. I know they were purchased to bring smiles to our faces and joy to my heart,” she said.
Gibbs, who grew up in the inner-city community of Shorty Shop, Glendevon, St James, told THE STAR that more than anything else, the home she shared with her family was filled with love and that if there was anything lacking from a material perspective, it wasn’t easily noticed.
“We had a sense of community in Shorty Shop …, a feeling of oneness and a feeling of care among our friends and our neighbours. There were always people who looked out for each other, especially at Christmastime,” said Gibbs. “There were those families like mine who, when we had enough to share, we would ensure that we shared with those who didn’t have.”