Christmas time is a special time all over the world. The twinkle of lights and joyous music in the air make spirits bright and call loved ones together to celebrate. Family traditions take center stage, and the razzle-dazzle of the season makes every day brighter during this festive time. St. Thomas has its share of celebrations during this delightful display of Christmas cheer with music, culture, and pageantry that are native to the island and its people. St. Thomas is home to a Caribbean fusion of food and culture that can all be experienced and enjoyed, especially during the holiday season. The varying cultural influences have helped shape how Virgin islanders come together to bring the magic of the holidays to life in their island way.
When you think of Santa Clause, do you automatically think of Santa and his reindeer? In St. Thomas, Santa often arrives by boat to various festive gatherings. Reindeer are not native to the Virgin Islands, so the donkey-drawn cart tradition has taken on this iconic custom of the holidays with island style.
Traditions like the Old-Time Crucian Christmas are an annual holiday event that includes the inkberry tree lighting, a colorful parade, festive music, and authentic food and drinks.
There is also the Miracle on Main Street holiday event that is one of the most anticipated affairs with arts and crafts, shopping, and plenty of holiday cheer. This tradition dates back to 1992 and has established itself as THE premier event that brings thousands of residents and visitors to the island. Attendees can indulge in culinary delights, fine music, and a one-of-a-kind shopping experience you can only witness from this marine community. This night is usually accompanied by the lighted boat parade on the waterfront. Local vessels decorated with lights, trees, and many merry makers pass by the quay and toss candy to children onshore.
Over on St. John, the big holiday party is the All Island Holiday Party. This event is hosted at Mongoose Junction and is the centerpiece of the holiday season. This tradition originated to help rebuild the community after Hurricane Marilyn in 1995. Since then, it has become a highlight for many and has served as a homecoming for seasonal residents. What better way to celebrate unity and the diversity that the Virgin Islands has to offer than by coming together and dressing up to be part of the pageantry.
My daughter looks forward to fresh Johhny cakes during the holiday season. Each year one or more of her teachers at school will bring supplies and cook for the kids in the morning. They all enjoy the indulgence of some delicious deep-fried salty dough that can be eaten as bread or a biscuit and is authentically made using cassava flour. Johnny Cake can be eaten hot or cold and enjoyed while singing the infamous Mama, Bake that Johnny Cake, Christmas Comin’.
We have prepared our very own Holiday Gift Guide to help inspire your gift ideas. Christmas is coming indeed, and we hope you and your family will enjoy your traditions with your loved ones. Having everyone home for the holidays is always a treat and making sure your visitors feel welcome and comfortable in their home away from home is a gift you don’t have to wrap. Contact us today and let us help you prepare your home for your holiday guests so you can spend your time feeling the love and joy of the season.