Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas in the Caribbean

Celebrating the Virgin Guadalupe

Yep, I know you’re going to groan and say, “Not another damn article about how wonderful the weather is at Christmas in Mexico.”  Well, the weather is spectacular in December, but that’s not what this week’s blog is about.  It’s about the small town feeling of life on Isla, especially during the holiday season.  Many of the major religions in the world have a special day or week in December that is significant to their beliefs, and to them we wish them all the best of the season.  However, living in a country that is predominately Christian we are more aware of their celebrations.

Annual horse and rider procession

December is a busy time on the island with a number of events including the annual horse-parade, bullfights, folkloric dancers in centro, and the magical nights of entertainment at the Casa de Cultura. December 12th is the Day of the Virgin Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico. The Catholic churches have special masses and processions to reaffirm their commitment to Guadalupe. Coloured flags crisscross the streets in centro and outlying neighbourhoods. Lights and decorations. Music. The delicious smells of festive foods. The island is in celebration mode.

Barefoot Santa John and Valerie in 2015 golf cart parade 

Our golf cart is all tricked out in garlands, wreaths, snowmen and reindeer for this Saturday’s Christmas parade. Starting at five-thirty the motley crew of expats and islanders will assemble outside our casa on Aeropuerto Road, facing south. The parade ricochets around the various neighbourhoods and eventually finds it way in to centro. It’s a wild and silly event that entertains the island kids and their parents.  For other events we have been amassing an assortment of toys to be distributed at the January 6th Day of the Kings’ charity event sponsored by Ruben’s Restaurante. 

Saying hi to the local kids at the Day of the Kings event

We decorated our artificial tree last weekend with tiny sombreros, ocean-themed ornaments and carnival beads.  I hate to admit it, but sweating while trimming a tree just isn’t the same as decorating with Christmas music blaring, a roaring fire in the fireplace and a glass of single malt whiskey at hand.  Oh, darn, a sneaky reference to our hot weather just inserted itself into this blog! 

Christmas brunch at Sue & Len's casa

For us part of the fun is the gathering of friends who are not in close proximity to other family members.  There are annual early morning gathering for drinks and snacks, and open house invitations to drop in for a glass of Christmas cheer.  This year two island friends have invited many ‘orphans’ to a Christmas Dinner with Friends, a potluck gathering where everyone contributes a dish or two to the festivities. Our good friends who live just a few houses away, have invited us and our almost-famous dog to their casa for the traditional turkey dinner. 

Sparky and his girlfriend Julie grocery store - M.Watt photo
Yesterday I popped over to the local grocery store looking for a few more decorations. I left Sparky in charge of the golf cart. When I returned he was entertaining two lady friends who thought he looked lonely. Small town living at its best.
Happy Holidays from paradise!

And yes, there are sandy beaches, palm trees, blue skies and hot weather, but it’s still Christmas. It’s the love and the friendship that make this a special time of year, no matter where you live.

Merry Christmas & Season Greetings


Lynda & Lawrie, and Sparky


Lawrie, Canadian Christmas '99

2 comments:

dody yorke said...

Wonderful, thank you for sharing Christmas on the Island with us.:)

Lynda & Lawrie said...

Thank you for joining our readers .... Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to you and your family. Cheers Lynda, Lawrie and the Sparkinator.