Recreate a traditional Cayman Christmas

Christmas time in Cayman was a very different affair a few generations back to what it is today.

On Saturday, 8 December, students, parents, teachers and members of the public will have the opportunity to relive some of the cultural activities and traditions of Christmases past at Mind’s Eye Cultural Centre, the home of the late Miss Lassie.

The Cayman National Cultural Foundation is once again holding the Christmas of Yesteryear event, between 7am and noon, and all members of the public are welcome to stop by and observe or lend a hand in the traditional seasonal preparations.

The event is named after one of Miss Lassie’s paintings titled “Preparing for Christmas in the Yesteryears”. In the bottom left hand side she painted a figure backing sand, in the centre there’s an individual painting the house and on the left hand side, a figure is raking the yard.

These and other cultural activities will be re-enacted by CNCF staff and volunteers.

Work groups will be instructed by Capt. Paul Hurlston, a cousin of Miss Lassie’s, in the mixing of white lime to paint the house in a fresh white coat for Christmas. He will be demonstrating how bits of the cactus plant Scotchineel must be added to the mixture to prevent it yellowing over time.

Children and adults will also have the chance to practice backing sand, using thatch baskets, arranging the sand in neat piles, then spreading and brushing it with rosemary brooms and decorating with conch shells.

By the end of the morning, Miss Lassie’s home will be Christmas ready.

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