Island Ingenuity: Christmas Edition



‘Twas three weeks before Christmas with family arriving,

when I sought holiday décor to enjoy when not diving.

All through the island, not a tree was in stock;

the supplier had cancelled, to my open-mouthed shock.

*click for image credit

“No tree?!” I cried, and said to myself, Well, what now?

Christmas won’t be Christmas without those green boughs!

The smell of fresh pine, sap stuck in my hair,

the needles that lay fallen up and down the stairs!


The lady who told me nodded in time,

while watching the workers unpack the thyme.

“I know,” she said sagely, “but that’s not the worst!

We ordered the tree stands, and storage will soon burst!”

*click for image credit

With head hung low, I then left the Market Place.

What to tell my family? What a Christmas disgrace!

Other stores, only two, all told the same tale –

turns out the tree-growing season had been quite the fail.


Through the store windows, the false trees winked bright,

while the blow-up snowmen lit up the tropical night.

“Certainly there are fake trees and candles,” my fiancé said.

“But you’re so imaginative, create something instead!”


Create? I thought, But create what? There’s little to use here,

aside from hermit crabs and sand and green bottles of beer.

And so I thought, and thought, and thought some more,

until finally asked Google for some Caribbean holiday décor.


What ideas then did come, what inspiration I found!

None of which work when there’s no Michael’s around!

Purchase some lights to draw a tree on the wall,

arrange balloons, or use washi tape, anything at all!

*click for image credit

Washi tape? What’s this? And I’ll be lucky to find,

enough lights that all work, and are bank account kind.

So deeper I search, to find something suitable,

whose spirit of Christmas will be irrefutable.


I look out the window, take a walk down the street,

and suddenly it hits me (no, not the extreme heat!)

that pine trees abound, of the island variety.

Their needles litter the ground, their smell quells my anxiety!


And so I run off, to my hydroponic garden,

Where I find my fiancé, working hard, and beg his pardon:

“May I please, pretty please, take this green trellis?

I know it’s for tomatoes, but they won’t be jealous!”


Slowly, so slowly, I start building this tree,

only the best branches I choose to twine through PVC.

Soon it will be decorated with care,

and hard will I pray, it won’t become bare.

island christmas tree_WWLOR

In the end though, little will it matter,

my family and friends will think me mad as a hatter.

With loved ones around having a laugh,

that’s all that I need (and a nice full carafe!).

This entry was posted in General, Holidays on the Rocks, Roxane Boonstra's posts and tagged , , by Roxane Boonstra. Bookmark the permalink.
Roxane Boonstra

About Roxane Boonstra

Approaching three years on the Sister Islands of the Cayman Islands (nearly two on Little Cayman and one on Cayman Brac), Roxane is rapidly approaching the point of no return to reality. While thankful to not be on Grand Cayman, where cruise ships spill out tidal waves of tourists and KFC’s get held up by machete-wielding locals demanding buckets of chicken, she has found that the Sister Islands function on a completely different level of quirky. Although she has a Master’s degree in marine biology (despite Murphy’s Law of power outages), she spends her working time doing SCUBA instruction or divemastering, chasing people and fish with her cameras, killing and cooking lionfish, and filling in as “dive shop girl”. When not working, she is likely still diving and chasing fish with cameras or spears, but, for good measure, has a few other hobbies such as: coming up with sarcastic answers to dumb tourist questions, creatively cursing her persistently failing internet service, denying that her red hair is getting blonder, desperately coveting her dwindling stash of chocolate croissants, and gathering inspiration from her longtime boyfriend, who is fond of delightfully hare-brained concepts like strapping SCUBA tanks to a tricycle to propel himself underwater (it failed, but bandaids were on hand, just in case).

CURRENT ROCK OF RESIDENCE: Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands



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7 thoughts on “Island Ingenuity: Christmas Edition

  1. Not only was the solution creative, but the method in which you chose to share what happened awesome! Seriously – I loved the read and can’t wait to check out the post. Merry Merry and Happy New Year! Claudia

  2. I can’t tell you how many times when I was growing up in the Bahamas that we went out in “The Bush” to cut down the top of a pine tree and bring it home for our very own Charlie Brown Xmas Tree. We also made ornaments out of sand dollars and all manner of other seashells. Brings back fond memories of Xmas morning with johnnycake, and longs walks on the beach after opening up presents. Nothing like coming back home for Xmas dinner with sand in your toes. Glad the holidays got your creative juices flowing, and I love the poem (almost a rhyme, not as good as yours).

  3. Even our second home here in Connecticut has a tree decorated with starfish, sand dollars, Santa riding surfboards and scuba diving, mermaids, glass fish. You get the idea. Years ago it was so hard to find tropical ornaments and we made due on trips and the Internet. Now they are everywhere so we have donated extras to Goodwill.

  4. My Xmas ingenuity was making ornaments our of soda cans and glitter and my bf made garland from colored straws. I thought people would think I was too cheap or broke, but the office secretaries loved it!

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