Skies magazine: Deck the halls Cayman-style

(Published in Cayman Airways Skies, December, 2010)

holiday decor

Christmas is always a joyous time in Cayman. As the holiday season approaches, Caymanians and residents alike take stock of life, make time for family and, of course, look forward to the annual tradition of decorating their home.

Christmas is a celebration of the island’s diversity of people and this can be seen in the wide array in which residents choose to decorate their homes. Whether you have a more traditional theme in mind or want to decorate to ensure your home is on trend, Cayman has an abundance of options from which to source festive decor.

Celebrations is regarded as a one-stop shop for festive needs, with everything from beautiful bespoke garlands and hand-made holiday wreaths, imitation trees, baubles, lights, crackers, gift baskets and wrapping paper. Just stepping inside the beautifully decorated store is enough to get even the “bah, humbug” of us into the Christmas spirit.

The special event company’s shop, located in the Mirco Centre, has grown to become a local favourite thanks to its distinct range of Christmas collections. Spanning from the traditional to ultra-modern, these sparkling collections offer holiday inspiration to shoppers.

Celebrations’ Managing Director Jo-Anne Brown makes it her mission each year to ensure that the very latest trends are in store. She notes that purple is one of the main colours in vogue this year.

“A very trendy collection is our Gooseberry collection. This wonderful collection is inspired by tones of purples, lavenders and gooseberry, coupled with ivory champagne. These trendy colour tones will give an elegant lustre to any Christmas tree,” she says.

For those looking for something more traditional but still retaining a trendy edge, Jo-Anne recommends the Tinsel Town tree, featuring traditional reds, coupled with silvers and a dash of hot lime green.

One favourite making a return this year is the Caribbean Gems Holiday collection, which features beautiful and unique ornaments such as turtles, mermaids, shells, anemone flowers and sea fans.

“This is a wonderful collection that speaks about the beautiful ocean that we live alongside,” Jo-Anne enthuses. “Colour tones of aqua, oranges, teals and apple greens are among the colour palette for this gorgeous tree.”

For those who still want to ensure their home has a true festive feel, but simply don’t have the time to source everything themselves, Massive Party and Event Rentals rent out all the party basics, covering everything from dinnerware to tablecloths, tables and chairs and lighting.

To bring a hint of the Caribbean into the home this yuletide season, Davina Tresidder, special event supervisor at Massive, suggests going for a ‘beachy’ Christmas theme and, as a nod to Cayman’s traditional sand yards — where the whitest sand was hauled from Cayman’s pristine beaches and raked onto the front yard — sand is popular and easy to source.

“I use sand in candle holders, spread it around the bottom of the tree, or even put it on the top of Poinsettia pots,” Davina says. “I once hung a Santa Claus outfit by the door on a coat rack with a sign stuck in the boots that said ‘Gone to the Beach’. Everyone really loved that.”

Lighting is always a key aspect, which can be used to instantly transform any home into a joyous holiday fantasy. Indeed, take time this Christmas to drive round Cayman and you will see some spectacular lighting displays, which often get more extravagant with each passing year.

“Lights are always one of the most popular items, as they are the most recognised festive tradition,” Davina says. “Lights can be hung from every tree and every eave of the house and come in every colour.”

With the economy having hit many purses hard, Davina adds that this year table decorations are proving particularly popular.

“Table decor this year is the centre of attention, with things like decorative candles and candle holders, creative place cards, chargers, table runners and small table ornaments all proving as popular as they are cheap and easy to find,” she explains. “Decorating a table also allows for a lot of do-it-yourself creations, such as paper snowflakes, cotton ball snowmen and place cards, which often bring the most holiday joy, especially when done together with friends and family. Festive tablecloths are also an easy way to spruce up your decor.”

Time-strapped residents can also turn to Vigoro Nursery’s Christmas tree rental program. Staff from the nursery, located on Walker’s Road, will decorate to your taste and then deliver and install the tree. The nursery stocks a wide selection of imitation trees to suit all budgets, in addition to stunning live Fraser trees, which are sourced from the mountains of North Carolina in the U.S. These beautiful trees stay green and hold their needles throughout the holiday season and need to be ordered in advance.

Vigoro, which has a second location in Lower Valley on Agricola Drive, is transformed annually into a magical wonderland, with just about everything you could imagine required to decorate your own home. Owner Nancy Rohleder takes great pride each year to handpick a selection of the most beautiful Christmas decorations available.

This year there is a definite trend for champagne and platinum as well as pure white, Nancy says. “I find the colours this year to be a nice change and the ornaments and decorations look particularly spectacular when paired with a beautiful sage green tree.”

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