Wheaton’s Way

The festive season is in the air

When the breezes suddenly began to blow cooler and I saw workers balancing on ladders in the middle of Cayman’s roundabouts, I knew Christmas was officially on its way.

We don’t get snow and the leaves don’t fall off the trees, but those of us who have lived in the islands for more than a year recognise the arrival of winter. We simply have to step outside our air-conditioned dwellings and revel in the fact that we don’t instantly dissolve into a puddle of sweat, our eyelashes sporting non-waterproof mascara with careless abandon.

This is also about the only time of year, outside of Pirates Week, when boots are a comfortably acceptable form of footwear.

I love Christmas. I look forward to it from January. When people are (understandably) complaining that ornaments and lights are already on the store shelves in October, I’m quietly rubbing my hands together with glee. I walk around Kirk Home Centre, A. L. Thompson’s and Uncle Bill’s in a daze, with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.

When my friend and I moved into a bigger house earlier this year, I was grateful for all the extra storage space. We had far more Christmas decorations than I realised. Over half of the closets in my bedroom became crammed full of bells, lights, wreathes, reindeer and a host of items that sparkle, jingle and cannot be compacted in any way. It’s an embarrassment of Christmas cheer, in more ways than one.

You would think that what we already have is enough, but apparently not. I walked into Cost-U-Less two weeks ago to look for crushed corn chicken feed (I have adopted a flock that now recognises my car as I pull into the driveway) and walked out with a Christmas village, complete with lights, music, skaters on a rink and a merry-go-round. I’m desperate to be an honorary Crighton.

The rum and other liquor got relegated to the cupboards so this latest acquisition could take pride of place on the sideboard. I gotta say, I’m not tiring of it so far.

This upcoming weekend is a busy one for me, but I am going to have to find time to start decorating. The first order of business is to throw out any sets of used lights, unless they are LED. Nothing brings out the Grinch in a person like hanging up multiple end-to-end sets and finding that half of the middle set isn’t cooperating when you plug them in. You tested them before you hung them up – you’re not that crazy – but now something isn’t playing ball.

We’re getting the tree on Saturday. Only plastic ornaments, thanks to a home full of destructive cats and a tiled floor.

No matter how tiring it can be, getting the house ready for Christmas, it’s a ‘good tired’, as they say. I just love it. When you turn those lights on and everything looks so festive, it’s the best feeling in the world. Packing it all away in January, now that’s a struggle. Don’t be surprised to see Rudolph and his friends still perched on my front lawn in May.