And putting aside all political correctness, as that’s what we Aussies are famous for, Merry Christmas, dear readers. I hope you are enjoying your morning as much as I will be.

And putting aside all political correctness, as that’s what we Aussies are famous for, Merry Christmas, dear readers. I hope you are enjoying your morning as much as I will be.

To fill you in on our glorious week, it has involved a great deal of sitting on the terrace, a huge amount of reading, a small episode of falling off one step and twisting your correspondent’s ankle – followed thereafter by a goodly amount of limping.

There have been cook-offs between me and my darling son-in-law, Beau, and I am quite happy to pass whatever tattered crown I may have owned to him. We have had iguana sightings, and three of us, Sir excluded, have had a little dabble in the snorkeling department.

Unless Sir could snorkel in the pool where it can be guaranteed that there is not one living thing in there with him other than a human being, Sir will have none of it. Love him as I do, he is a bit of a weenie when it comes to creepy crawlies or saturated slitherers.

But I digress, what kind of Christmas will ours be? Ours, of course, will not be a vision of joyous dashing through snow, roasting chestnuts on an open fire, nor rocking around a Christmas tree, as it will no doubt be 80 degrees as it has been for the past 10 days. I can see into the future, and the future spells P-O-O-L to me.

That is not to say that Cayman is without its own Christmas traditions. Being of British heritage, the good Caymanians did not get Christmas Eve off, but will enjoy an extended long weekend as Monday will be the official Christmas holiday, and Tuesday will be the official Boxing Day holiday. To refresh memories, and to inform new readers, Boxing Day is the day upon which the Lords and Ladies would literally box up leftovers from their own sumptuous repasts of the day before, together with gifts and would hand the lot over to their servants so they too could have their day off.

As I write, I’m looking through the back door and side windows across a vast stretch of the Caribbean Sea, and to my immediate right the unoccupied house is festooned with icicle Christmas lights all around the terrace railing. Their front yard, growing naturally with huge coconut trees, has also been transformed to an equally natural winter wonderland of green and red fairy lights snaking up those enormous palms.

Across the street is quite a sweet little cottage. Well I’m sure it could be sweet with quite a bit of work. The garden is of the minimalist school of design, in that it is pretty much entirely taken up with raked sand. Adorning said sand is a very mixed bag shrieking Christmas. One side of the house is lined with very pretty conch shells, spaced with military precision along its front wall. The left side of the house gives us I think every piece of Christmas kitsch ever known to man. The centerpiece would be the nativity scene, I suppose – but this is somewhat dwarfed by snowmen, Snoopy dressed as Santa, the odd reindeer muscling in on Joseph and Mary, giant teddy bears in Christmas hats, icicle lights around every eave, and a large semi circular hoop one thinks might be an entrance to the garden, but really isn’t, twined with green tinsel and fairy lights.

I’m telling you, taste is a truly universal thing.

Shopping has been no less traumatic down here as it would have been back home. While wading through vast quantities of fresh pineapples, shrimp, fish of all shapes and sizes, mangoes and avocados (yes I know, life’s tough, isn’t it?), ones ears are assaulted just as they are in any U.S. city. We’re going to have a holly jolly Christmas in which we’re going to commune with Santa Baby. Or we are going to warble along with Johnny Mathis entreating us ever so earnestly  to have ourselves a Me-hh-rrr-y L-i-ttttt-le Chri-ssss-tmaaaas.

We have tossed around the question of Christmas dinner down on the beach, and I think I can safely say by then we will have hit the “oh dear, we’d better use up the leftovers before we leave” division. Again, we’ve managed to shop rather exhaustively, and I think at a pinch could have fed several hoards of hungry visitors on the way.

Thus, Christmas dinner is likely going to comprise fajitas, crab cakes, chicken salad topping off the lot with a dessert of Crunchie Bars (a very British/Australian candy).

Suffice it to say we’ve all had a wonderful time – again with heartfelt thanks to my gorgeous boss who allows us to steal his house from time to time – and we’re naturally aching to return sometime – or two – in 2011.

Dear reader, may your day be filled with joy and wonder. May you roast your chestnuts on an open fire, make snow angels, adore the company you’re with, and be safe and happy.

We will rush down and make sand angels, and tip our glasses to your very good health.