How we Spend Christmas In Anguilla!
How Christmas in Anguilla is Spent
“Momma make a Johnny cake, Christmas coming!” a song heard on every Anguillian radio station as Christmas approaches. Christmas season in Anguilla is in full swing in Anguilla! The temperature has fallen to 26 degree Celsius, the sun rays are covering the ground and the beaches predict that it’s going to be a white Christmas this year – like every day in Anguilla.
If you are planning to, or you are already vacationing in Anguilla during this festive time, here is what we do during the Christmas season and you can join us too.
Having a white Christmas every year
We perpetually enjoy a white warm wet Christmas (yes, all those adjectives can go together). Trade in the freezing winter and the bulky gear for a more temperate climate, white sandy beaches and clear blue water.
The beach is where we spend most of our Christmas days and, most other days of the year, with picnics under grape trees at Shoal Bay and Rendezvous Bay (to name a few beaches), fishing, swimming and just having fun. We prefer sand angels to the snow angels and snowmen we see on TV.
Swimming in Anguilla during winter is, for most Anguillians, way too cold as cold fronts “plunge” temperatures to the mid-20s – sometimes feeling like how it must feel at the Swim England National Winter Championships as you dip your feet into the ice-cold water (this is for Anguillians who never experienced winter in the far north.
Wandering wondering whose Christmas party to go to next
There’s a tradition of having Christmas parties globally but, Anguilla’s size has created a unique phenomena. You have family parties (one on your father’s side and one on your mother’s), your friend up the road has another, your friend’s cousin’s sister has another and, by time you catch yourself, you’ve made it from East End to West End sampling everybody’s mother’s cooking.
Everyone contributes to the Christmas party with a dish or the knives, forks and napkin – some of the most important dishes being the fish and ham, turkey, goat water, sweet potato pudding, rice and peas, macaronni pie, scallop potato and johnny cakes, to name a few.
Then, wash it all down with some Sorrel and Mauby or, ginger wine or some other storytelling juice (rum). And, for dessert, pound cake or Black Cake (an alcohol-based dessert) and icecream!
It’s a norm to have friends joining at family parties, members outside playing dominoes, that aunt who’s always making sure you don’t take too much food and that everyone gets a share, that cousin who has two plates (one for their “friend” who didn’t make it) and the one collecting all the bones to take home for their dogs.
The children always find themselves occupied playing inside and outside and, strangers become part of the family by the end of the day.
Just like the birds fly South, to Anguilla, for the winter, people move from East to West, North to South to be with friends and family.
Preparing and Going to Christmas Events
Throughout the entire island, there will be a vast number of festivities and parties being held starting from the second week in December until, and even after, New Years with the Lions Community Christmas Tree lighting (which is on this year, even post Irma), the Rotary Club Christmas Fun Day, and those hosted at numerous establishments.
One of the most anticipated annual Christmas events in Anguilla is the Christmas Tree Lighting in The Valley. It is a spectacular sight to see, at night, with all the mahogany trees along the Mahogany Avenue (from the roundabout in The Valley to the Coronation Park Avenue) dazzling with lights. Also, the elaborate Christmas light displays on the private houses like those near E’s Oven.
Here’s a list of Christmas events in Anguilla:
Boxing Day, Old Year’s Day to New Year’s Day
Boxing Day is almost Christmas Day Part 2. Leftovers are warmed up, the sun is blazing and the beach becomes so much more appealing and the children get to play even more with their Christmas gifts. While others prepare for Boxing Day Bash that night.
Old Year’s Night into New Year’s Day consists of families counting down at home, others at church and others at New Year’s Day parties awaiting the fireworks displays. Thanks to the fact that Anguilla is so flat, you can glimpse fireworks from almost anywhere on the island.
After spending a Christmas in Anguilla, you may wonder why you have to leave.
How do you and/or your family spend Christmas in Anguilla? Tell us in the Facebook comment bar below.