It has not felt much like Christmas this year. We arrived the week after Thanksgiving and with getting use to the new home and island we have not planned or celebrated the Holidays. Plus it has been in the upper 80s and we go swimming a lot.
In lieu of sending Christmas cards this year I am posting this picture. It is our Christmas card. This is us on our beach on Christmas day at a shipwreck area we call the fence. Merry Christmas.
On Sunday we went to an open house, or an appreciation party, at the cruise center. Goodmark Jewelers opened all of its stores and was holding sales for the local population to buy presents. They were offering free food, so we thought we would go quickly and just eat.
For the last several years I have wanted to get Deneen a black pearl necklace but never have. Indigo Pearls was having a 50% off sale. I found a set that I really liked. Deneen found a set she really liked. There is some benefit, I guess, to living on an island with duty free shopping. We bought both.
After this we went over to the Dufry shop and bought Deneen a pair of sunglasses and a Nike sport watch.
It was about 7:30, so we went over to the Goodmark store to see if the 5:30 raffle was over, or to see if it was running on Grand Turk time. In fact, the guy was yelling that you had two minutes left to get your raffle ticket in the box. We all put our names in the box. They were raffling 10 items, all from various stores. Martin won the second to last gift, a diamond watch. It was a women's watch, so Martin gave it to Deneen for Christmas.
Christmas day. Deneen had a good Christmas.
Martin and I opened and worked at the museum from 8:30 until 3:00 on Christmas day. We had two cruise ships in, and Christmas day was inagural behind-the-scenes excursion the museum is doing for Holland America in partnership with a local excursion operation. This past weekend we had installed flat screen video monitors, a small temporary exhibit, cleaned all of the exhibits, and tried to revamp the shop. In two days, Melanie Clifton-Harvey, the visiting curator, and Martin were able to accomplish more than I have managed to get done inside the museum in three months. Christmas was the first day that the museum has met revenue goals. We were 400% above our average.
In the afternoon we went to the beach. Way down the beach I saw a couple catching conch and breaking the shells right on the beach. I walked down to ask them to teach me how to clean conch. Teh guy took a conch out of the shell, cleaned a lot of gooey crap off of it and said, "have you ever eaten fresh conch." He then washed the flesh off in the ocean and offered a bite of the freshest conch I think you can eat. I offered some to Deneen, Lucas, and Martin but had no takers. I took two live conch back to the house and made a fresh conch, tomato and cucumber salad for Christmas. You can't have a more island Christmas than that.
Christmas evening we made dinner consisting of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and conch salad. When Melanie came in from New York last week she brought a bag of fresh cranberries and two boxes of cherry jello. So we even had Deneen's favorite cranberry jello salad. We shared our dinner with Mel and two other young men who are working on island and have no family here. Then, on the museum's LCD player out on the screen porch, we watched Pirates of the Caribbean 3, which Martin had downloaded on Itunes.
We are far from home and family, but this is one of the best Christmas days that I have had.