Yes, it must be Christmastime in the Cayman Islands.
Our islands’ warm sunshine, gentle breezes, ivory sand and crystal waters are all things for which residents and visitors should be grateful. Together with the menagerie of gentle creatures and brilliant flora, Cayman’s natural environment provides the ideal backdrop for relaxation, happy spirits and good cheer — most of the year round, in fact — but especially during this holiday season.
Featuring palms instead of pines, surf instead of snow, and mudslides instead of eggnog, tropical Christmases have a special charm all of their own (as do tropical Hanukkahs and Kwanzaas, too).
Whether you’re new to the islands or your family has been here for ages, if you’re having trouble getting into the Yuletide spirit, take the time to give yourself a Christmas gift: Visit some of Cayman’s festive landmarks, such as the immaculately lit Bodden family home on South Church Street, or attend a holiday community event, or go anywhere that Cayman’s children can be found to be experiencing the season with joyous abandon. The true spirit of Christmas, after all, is reflected in the eyes of our children.
As adults, we know that our designating this time of year as Christmas does not provide an exemption to the capriciousness of Fate. Indeed, certain misfortunes — particularly ones that are the products of depression, loneliness and substance abuse — tend to congregate around this period of the calendar.
As in years past, this Christmas will no doubt conclude with some names on Santa’s “naughty list” but we take heart in the fact that far more are on jolly Old St. Nick’s “nice list.”
If we must give a Grinch award this season, it would certainly go to the thieves who broke into the house of retired police officer Derek Haines this weekend, carrying off possessions and gifts belonging to Mr. Haines, his wife and visiting family members. It is a unique breed of lowlife who robs someone right before Christmas, particularly when that someone has spent the entire preceding year sacrificing his time and body for the sake of some of the most vulnerable members of the community.
Mr. Haines, as readers will recall, just completed successfully the Herculean feat of running a series of six marathons to raise $1 million for Cayman HospiceCare. In this scenario, we see how even one of the best among us cannot be shielded from the pollutive activities of some of the most despicable.
But, as Mr. Haines is well aware, troubles come, and then troubles go.
The Christmas season is upon us in Cayman, and there is no better alternative than to make merry, bask in the comforts of the hearth (or the sea), and most importantly enjoy the love of family and friends.
There will be future occasions for cool-headed skepticism and sharp-eyed scrutiny, but, for the present, this Editorial Board will retire with a simple and hearty, “Merry Christmas to the Cayman Islands! Merry Christmas to everyone!”