At the risk of sounding like a broken record, everyone knows that the worst thing about living far away from "home" is being far away from your family and friends - for most people anyway! A compromise which is particularly highlighted at Christmas.
Thank goodness then for our expat community lifestyle which has led to our friends becoming our family, and where on a small island like Grand Cayman, they all live around the corner. Perfect for Christmas parties! And what the Cayman Islands lack in snow at Christmas time, they make up for in enthusiasm – particularly at Camana Bay where, to kick off the Christmas season, a local radio station sponsors a "Parade of Lights" and this year scored front row seats.
Tied up alongside colleagues, we set out festive snacks, popped some bubbles and sat back with family and friends to watch the boats decked out with twinkling lights cruise past.
Whilst the judges deliberated their winner, new kids on the block, SWS Cayman's flyboarders, wowed the crowds with a futuristic stunt show, flying across the water on a skateboard powered by water jets - seriously how cool do they look?! A fly board for Christmas please santa….complete with flashing suit!
Finally, as the winners were announced and completed a circle of honor, the skies above the Town Centre erupted with a spectacular firework display.
We arrived back home humming Christmas carols feeling festive – the holiday season was off to a good start and I was ready to organize my annual Christmas Craft night! The ingredients for this one are simple – girlfriends, glitter, snacks and wine! That’s right, craft parties are not just for kids, they are just as fun when you’re in your 30’s, no matter how un-creative you think you are, EVERYONE is capable of whipping up a Christmas card and I have a 100% conversion rate with “non-creatives!”
Craft supplies are fairly easy to find in office supply and toy shops, even on a Caribbean Island. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to equip yourself with:
- Scissors and a guillotine like this one if you have it.
- Tape / school glue - adhesive rollers are awesome and super easy to use like this type
- Different types of paper / card
- Paint – acrylics are good as they washable
- Paint brushes
- Blank note cards
- Blank tags
- A plastic table cloth
This year I decided to add tree decorations to the agenda and make handmade salt dough ornaments for everyone to paint. They are SO simple and cheap - if you're scrambling to make your house look festive on a budget you have to try this! Mix 1 cup flour, ½ cup sald and ½ water together in a bowl until it make a smooth dough (if it feels sticky add a little bit of flour) then roll it out to your preferred thickness. Cut shapes out using cookie cutters (or if you don’t’ have any cookie cutters use a glass to cut classic circles. Don’t forget to cut holes for ribbons with a drinking straw or a chopstick.
Bake on a low heat for an hour, flipping them half way through.
Another successful night of Christmas crafts!
What are your favorite Christmas traditions?