The Holidays on Grand Cayman Island

(Who Flipped the “On” Switch?)

by Anne Evans

There is a BIG difference between In-Season and Off-Season on Grand Cayman. In- Season officially starts November 1 — well maybe even earlier when it comes to purchasing festive decorations. This was A.L. Thompson’s in October . . .

The transient population escalates through Easter after which it starts to decline and peters out by the end of May. Off-Season officially starts with the onset of Hurricane Season (June 1) and officially continues through November 30. However, as mentioned above, locals, most seasonal residents, and tourists feel that if the Island has made it to November 1 without a Hurricane, it is time to start celebrating.

We live here year-round . . .  and indeed! . . . there is a stark difference between In- Season and Off-Season.


7-mile beach is deserted.

The restaurants are peaceful .

The stores and shopping plazas are quiet.

There is nary a hint of traffic on West Bay Road in the heart of the 7-Mile Beach district.

Personally, I love the peacefulness of Off-Season. That said, we have been spared from a serious storm our first and second Hurricane Seasons here . . . our time will come.


7-mile beach is PACKED,

All restaurants require a reservation.

West Bay Road (which parallels 7-mile beach) is an endless stream of tourist buses, taxis, and traffic (cars, bicyclists, walkers, joggers).

The grocery stores are packed with clueless shoppers and the shopping plazas are insane.

And a really big deal here is lighting of Christmas Trees in plazas throughout Grand Cayman. Our closest is the lighting of the Tree at Camana Bay.

Personally, I love In-Season too. The reason is because of the way that Holidays are celebrated on Grand Cayman.

In the Cayman Islands, “The Holidays” are all about Christmas which I feel most Americans would find rather perplexing.

Halloween hardly gets a nod (fine with me, as I have always detested its rather gruesome nature.)

Canadian Thanksgiving garners some recognition (celebrated the second Monday of October — remember, The Cayman Islands are a British Oversees Territory and Canada is also part of the British Empire), however American Thanksgiving is really only available in the resorts.

So, come November 1, it is as though someone flipped the Christmas “On” Switch.

What I find particularly appealing about Christmas on Grand Cayman is that it is not focused on ruthless commercialism. The season is all about joy and the celebration of the true meaning of Christmas with family, friends, and community. Cayman Kindness comes out in full force!

Easter marks the end of the Holidays (synonymous with the unusual local tradition of camping on the beaches from Good Friday through Easter Sunday) – however more about that this coming spring. For the present, the focus is largely on celebrating the spirit of Christmas as well as recognizing the spirit of holiness among all — however they choose to worship.

If ai cannot solve a problem by baking a cookie, I cannot deal with it


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