As I celebrate my very first Christmas on my rock, I can’t help but notice how oddly and wonderfully different it is to everything I’m used to…
1. It begins on November 1st, not the weekend after Thanksgiving.
It’s like, “Bye bye Halloween, hello Santa and Baby Jesus figurines.”
2. We’ve got snowmen, y’all. Like, many, many snowmen – all around the island.
And my thermostat (in my house!) read 85°F today. Go figure.
3. Inflatables! Inflatables everywhere!
In nearly every yard boasting a light-up Olaf (see item #2), there is also an assortment of Christmas inflatables. My favorite one is Santa in a boat that says, “Hooked on Christmas”. Yeeesssss. Honorable mention: inflatable Christmas Minions.
4. SANTA’S PARK!
Only my Spanish Wells friends will truly understand this reference. For the rest of you, just think: Christmas Explosion. We don’t have these in America. Americans, if you should ever visit Spanish Wells at Christmas, be sure to stop by Santa’s Park. (And if you happen to stop by Santa’s Park on the first day it’s lit, you can even sit on Santa’s lap and tell him – umm… her. I’m pretty sure this Santa is actually a she… – what you want for Christmas.)
5. Christmas lights on cars.
I’ve only seen one like this. But it was mind-blowing.
6. Fireworks. All. December. Long.
That noise that sounds like a gun? It’s just teenagers shooting off fireworks and accidentally blowing each other’s fingers off.
7. Themed Christmas trees.
The trees adorned by the womenfolk of Spanish Wells could rival those of any shopping mall in the U.S. of A. And they make my little ol’ “American” Christmas tree look rather homely.
8. Christmas carols on repeat.
We started singing Christmas carols at my church here almost exclusively starting November 15th. And I don’t know at least 50% of them. I do know Beautiful Star of Bethlehem now though. Because I’ve sung it. At. Least. 20. Times. (It’s actually a lovely song…)
Basically this means
hooligans wonderful young people attack enter your home and commit all kinds of crimes eat your food and toilet paper your yard and put your furniture on the roof and drive your vehicle away, usually in the middle of the night – all in the name of Christmas “fun”. I’m still learning to think this is fun… and I may have subtly mentioned to some young people that I sleep with a large knife next to my bed. Just so they were forewarned.
10. The cookies. Oh, the cookies.
Too many kinds to list. This starts in November too. While the men are away fishing, the women are in the kitchen, cranking out more Christmas cookies than I’ve ever seen in my life. Gym memberships are $35 a month. Necessary after all those cookies. You’re welcome for that PSA.
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Christmas on Spanish Wells. It’s big, y’all. If you love Christmas, it’s the place to be. If you’re the Grinch, you’d better find a new island.