December, a month of great celebration! That is what this month represents for most of the folks we met in the eastern section of Christ Church Sunday after seven in the evening! As we toured around to observe the preparations for this special celebration of Christmas, starting at Oistins and heading east to Silver Sands, the atmosphere was sedate and the houses displaying Christmas lights on the outside were generally far apart. We stopped at the London Bar and there the gracious hostess Sharon Sargeant met us. Sharon told us that she had just returned from shopping in Bridgetown. She had chosen Sunday in the hope of avoiding the weeklong hubbub in The City. She felt it was a good decision for the madding crowds were absent and she was able to shop freely. While Christmas was on her mind, the expected flow of tourists to the London Bar just after Christmas was also a consideration. On Sunday evening, things were quiet at the bar and the youngsters used the opportunity to play a game of dominoes in the space normally occupied by patrons. We then proceed to Inch Marlow where a quiet mood prevailed. Most of the folks were probably at home preparing for Christmas. Our trek then took us over the hill to observe what was happening in Parish Land. Calm seemed to reign in the northern section of this territory. Soon the area seemed to awake when we travelled along the road leading to the Parish Land Pavilion where a few of the houses were brightly decorated with the seasonal lights. We spoke to the residents of one of those houses. Mac Warren Browne who was responsible for the erection of lights gave his mum, Elaine Browne (nee Bartlett), the credit for working tirelessly on making the garden at the front of the house what it had become, a treasure for the family. She also came out to greet us and speak to us briefly on the work that she had put into the cultivation of the garden. For them, Christmas was special. We then found our way into the inner section of the district where some activity by the shops attracted us. It was, however, at the Blue Mountain Bar that the spirit of celebration was most prominent. First, there was Fred Campbell, well-known community practitioner and mechanic, who was celebrating his birthday with a few friends. Eiba Jack was also celebrating. His birthday was on Saturday and he was still in a celebratory mood. He told us he was very happy to see another year. The group was also graced with the presence of Julie-Ann Marshall who celebrated her birthday on December 14. For Eiba, it was not about waiting for Christmas to celebrate. He quipped: “I celebrate life every day.” Fred Campbell’s cousin, Fred Holder, was there at his side for the birthday celebration. He looked forward to the Christmas celebrations to spend time with family and friends after going to church in the morning. Shelly Carter, one of Eiba’s friends, said she would be spending her first Christmas without her dad who recently passed away. “I will celebrate his memory at Christmas. He would want the celebration to go on,” she declared. After driving through some other areas where quietude prevailed, we found our way along Maxwell coast where, as we entered the Spotlight Bar, we were greeted by the chants of “Happy birthday”. On entering, we discovered that one of the familiar songbirds, Nicole Murray, was celebrating her birthday. There, at her side, was Jalesia Springer whom she referred to as her “little cousin”. Jalesia also celebrated her birthday this month on the 8th. For them both, the spotlight was their favourite place to celebrate since they love singing and from our observation were both skilled at this art form. For the management of the Spotlight, Christmas will be a bitter sweet. They will be holding their final celebration at this venue on Christmas night.