Christmas done Cayman style

Christmas means the same thing in most countries around the world, it is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. But as far a tradition goes, everyone has their own way of celebrating this special day.

We always had our eyes on certain cows which were fatten and saved especially for the Christmas meal of stew beef.

Three or four weeks before Christmas we would take a thatch basket and haul white sand from the beach and find nice looking conch shells to border the yard as decorations to have the best looking yard around.

We knew it was Christmas season when we smelled the sweet aroma of apples, saw the ladies picking out the best cloths and preparing for the Christmas dinner.

The men would paint the house with a mixture of lime and water and then the cooking began; rice and beans, stew beef, heavy cakes, roast beef, breadfruit, cassava and all that good stuff.

We still hold fond memories of searching for the perfect willow tree, backing white sand from the beach, decorating the tree, cooking Christmas beef, heavy cakes, gathering ground provisions from the fields, dancing quadrille music in the streets and attending church Christmas morning.

Today we celebrate Christmas in a more modern way with store bought trees, twinkling lights, coloured garlands television and supermarket carts full of ready to go beef. Dancing in the streets has disappeared and most people find it easier to just have dinner with close family and few friends.

Christmas traditions were all about big family togetherness for Steve and Terry Dobbs from Indiana, now residing in the district of East End.

“As people got older, died or moved away, some long-time traditions sort of dwindled away in her hometown,” said Mrs. Dobbs. “We would normally head to my grandmother’s house with the rest of the family to celebrate and eat a traditional meal of turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and eggnog with a little rum. After my grandmother died that was no longer the case,” she said.

Tina Bush misses the Christmas spirit of Honduras but she has found her little niche during Christmas with the Levy family who spends Christmas under the almond tree enjoying Cayman style stew beef, roast pork, breadfruit, cassava and lots of heavy cakes and merry juices.

Have a Merry Cayman Christmas all.