Four years ago, residents of the Cayman Islands were looking at Christmas as a welcome respite from all the recovery efforts after Hurricane Ivan. There was a lot of feeling back then that Christmas was a turning point and that the new year would bring with it normalcy again.
While normalcy after Ivan took a lot longer for most people, Christmas was nonetheless a little special for people that year because it brought with it hope and the chance to celebrate the really important things in life, like friends, family and the birth of Jesus Christ.
This year, Christmas brings with it trepidation about the future of these islands. There’s a global economic crisis to worry about; there’s a shaky financial services sector; there’s an uncertain outlook for tourism; there’s a pending election here that may turn out to be the most important in this country’s history; and there’s the prospects of a new constitution that could fundamentally change some aspects of our government.
But like in 2004, Christmas this year also brings hope and the reminder of what is really important in our lives.
Some families in Cayman are probably already feeling the pinch of the economic slowdown. But this doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy Christmas, even if they don’t have the money for expensive gifts or lavish meals.
There are things that families can do together during the Christmas holidays that do not cost much, if any, money and that can create longer lasting fond memories than a gift ever could. In the hustle and bustle of modern living, spending quality family time is becoming less frequent, and the holidays present the perfect opportunity to do that, whether it’s a family outing to the beach, a family domino game, or simply watching a classic holiday-time film together.
For workers here without family on island, we encourage you to spend it with friends socialising.
We hope those who are preparing a special holiday dinner remember some of the people who might not have a place to go for Christmas and invite them over.
Christmas is also a time many people like to partake in a little holiday cheer, but we urge those who plan to drink alcohol to do so responsibly and not to drive after they’ve been drinking.
We here at the Caymanian Compass would like to wish all of our readers a very merry – and safe – Christmas.