Grand Cayman throws itself into the spirit of Christmas with great gusto, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Christmas light displays that go up all around the island. It seems that almost every house, plaza and roundabout is draped in multi-coloured lights at this time of year – but none are more impressive than the displays at the Bodden and Crighton residences.
So impressive, in fact, that the National Trust runs bus tours each year to take people to see the best of the Christmas lights. The tours stay away from the more commercial areas such as West Bay Road, says Denise Bodden, historic programmes manager, and instead takes in some of those residential areas where Christmas is still celebrated in a simpler, more traditional way.
The tours leave from the National Trust offices on South Church Street and head first to Mission House in Bodden Town. There they have the chance to sample traditional Caymanian Christmas food, such as Christmas beef, various starches, sorrel and cassava heavy cake.
The tour continues on to the Crighton residence, opposite Ocean Club, and then to the Bodden house, opposite Sunset House. For those who have not witnessed these light displays before, they can defy belief. And even if people have seen them many times before, they never fail to impress.
Passengers will be able to take a walk around the grounds of each house and get right into the midst of this psychedelic lights show. Caymanian families, Denise points out, tend to be God-fearing people, and in among the dramatic coloured lights, you will always find a nativity scene.
“People like to highlight the birth of Christ,” she says, “as well as allow people to enjoy an elaborate light display. It’s these families’ way of giving something back to the community at Christmas.”
For families this is a great opportunity to spend an evening together, enjoying the festive spirit, without anybody being tasked with cooking or driving.
“These are small, intimate tours,” Denise says. “Our bus holds just 12 or 13 passengers, so people do need to book in advance.”
Tours run on the 17, 18 and 19 December, departing at 6pm and returning at 9pm. To reserve your space, call 749-1123.