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Christmas In Cayman: 2022

Front Pages 22 Dec, 2022 Follow News

Christmas In Cayman: 2022

By:  Flynn Bush

This year, like so many hundreds of them before, will see families turn their focus toward the birthday of one particular individual.  While Christmas has become more and more commercialized over the years, it is still the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  Thankfully, here in the Cayman Islands, we have a strong culture and heritage and have many meaningful traditions that go along with this blessed holiday.

Many decades ago, I’m talking of the childhood days of my grandparents, the Christmas season was filled with activities focused on faith, family and food.  The preparation started weeks and months before with things such as the identification and fattening-up of a cow, the beautification of the home like with a new coat of paint for the house and fresh sand for the yard.  Although the family members, including extended family, all played their part, it was hard work.  But, on Christmas Day, everyone loved how the house stood out, and how the yard glistened with white that had been backed in thatch baskets from the beach.

The Christian spirit was in full bloom as Christmas Day inched nearer and nearer. During Christmas Week, the focus began to get clearer and folks all over were visiting family and friends and making sure that any grudges or quarrels were left behind when the new year rolled in.  And they were making sure that those in the community who could not provide for themselves as they wished were taken care of as well. 

During those years, the church bells always rang on Sundays and at the start of any midweek service that congregation might have.  At Christmas, it seemed like those bells rang more often and, if it is possible, louder than usual.  Folks made sure to make it to church, dressed in their best clothes and shoes, accompanying their family members.  Worship and celebration of God’s only Son, born to give the world an eternal King and the chance to live with Him forever, was on the forefront of everyone’s minds.  This was the faith side of the holiday. 

After church, and throughout the Christmas Week, everyone gathered in their own family units to partake of the smorgasbord of delicious food prepared by loving hands.  Oh, the smells must have been incredible; the aroma of Christmas beef or pork, breadkind, and heavy cakes, punctuated by the fruity scent of fresh apples and grapes.  The fact that so many of these foods were only available at Christmas made it even more special.  That was the food side of the holiday.

Nowadays, these traditions may look a little different, but they are still prevalent.   A great amount of us still makes it a point to pass down our heritage and customs.  The tables are still lined with the same type of foods as before; we still reach out to old friends and family members and try to help others in the community; and the churches are still packed at the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services.  Above all, the Reason for the Season is celebrated- the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  


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