Our celebratory Christmas dinner was on Dec 23rd because most restaurants are normally closed on Sunday (which was Christmas Eve) and also on Christmas day. We sailed from Little Harbour to Hope Town on Elbow Cay and anchored just outside the harbor off Eagle Rock.
As the sun set, the decorations of streaming lights on the red and white candy cane striped Lighthouse came on and church bells in town played Christmas carols. It was a magical moment.
We took the dinghy into the harbor in the dark for our "Christmas" dinner at the Wine Down Sip Sip restaurant. There were two other parties seated. One couple and their young daughter, who took a liking to Karrie. And a large group of young adults, who did a present exchange. After our dinner, Karrie met one of the young ladies (Allie) from the large group. They were shooting a TV show in the Bahamas. She was interested in how the local Bahamians spend Christmas and when Karrie invited her to the Man-O-War Christmas celebration she promised to come.
Christmas Eve morning we moved the boat a few miles from Elbow Cay to Man-O-War to attend church services. The normal minister, Pastor Randy, was visiting family for Christmas and the lay minister, Rich, decide to sing Christmas carols before the sermon. But not just one or two carols, we opened our hymnals and sang EVERY carol in the book (except for a few that "we don't know")...19 carols (the first verse only) in all! No one could say that we didn't sing their favorite! What a great idea.
That evening we attended a Christmas Eve party hosted by Jim and Nancy Clements. Many of the second home owners and boaters attended. Lots of fun with an interesting mix of people.
On Christmas morning, Man-O-War has a town celebration. The whole island gathers, sings carols, tells the Christmas story, and welcomes the arrival of Mr and Mrs Santa Claus. The children all join in calling (screaming) for Santa. Santa and Mrs Claus hand out gifts to all the town children. And then there is a huge pot luck buffet for the entire island.
Santa and Mrs. Claus
Christmas brunch pot luck buffet
As we lined up for the buffet, Allie and her boyfriend (OG) walked up, having just arrived on the ferry from Marsh Harbour. They could hear the children yelling for Santa from the ferry dock, so they knew where to head to find the celebration, they just followed the noise!
We spent the rest of the day with Allie and OG, since their return ferry was not until 5pm. Two very interesting young people. Karrie commented that it was like spending time with one of our daughters. She is a sound engineer for TV production and met OG while filming "Alaska Bush People" on the island OG is from. He was the "local guide" for the show having been born on the island. The small island near Juneau has more brown bears than people! We toured the island and then took them to our boat. Following their visit, I dropped them off at the Low Place beach so they could walk back into town and see more of the island.
It turned out to be a wonderful and unexpected Christmas day!