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!

Christmas inflatables_WWLOR

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!

Santas Park_WWLOR

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.

light up Christmas car_WWLOR

I’ve only seen one like this. But it was mind-blowing.

6. Fireworks. All. December. Long.

Christmas fireworks_WWLOR

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.

themed Christmas tree_WWLOR

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…)

9. Raiding.

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.

 –   –   –

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.

island Christmas house_WWLOR

Written By:

Bethany Perry

Current Rock of Residence:

Russell Island, Bahamas

Island Girl Since:

June 2015

Originally Hails From:

North Carolina

Bethany is a relatively new island girl, having transplanted her life only 6 months ago. Though she originally hails from North Carolina, she’s a traveler at heart, having spent most of her adult life in other states and countries. She recently met and married the love of her life, who happens to be a native Bahamian. She’s loving her new life as an islander and is learning to laugh at the quirks and oddities that make Spanish Wells unique.

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