Most of the people on the island celebrate Christmas. We went to our first Christmas celebration today.

Song & Food
About 200 people showed up, mostly locals with a sprinkling of expats and tourists. We sang Christmas carols and the real (imported) Christmas tree was lit. Joel did his usual sampling of foods – beginning with dessert first, he had a vanilla cake. They make it more like a pound cake with no frosting. Frosting isn’t big here, probably due to the moist air (it would be a melted mess, presumably). He followed this with Caribbean croquettes.

Croquettes are traditional Caribbean fare and while there are several versions of the recipe, most contain meat and some type of starch. The meat is sautéed and mixed with starch (typically potatoes), then formed into potato-sized rolls and fried crispy brown. These had potatoes and meat (we aren’t sure what type of meat, and Joel didn’t care much!). Not really healthy, but very tasty just the same!

Song, Dance & Strike A Pose!
After much song and food, we went into the community center for the “play,” which was really set up like a talent show. There was a nice Latin dance with “The Cuban Dancer” and three of his students. The Cuban Dancer was great – fun to watch. After this, there were several poems, songs (sung Karoke style, by Millicent “and her solo self” as described by the teen MC) and even modeling. Three of the models were girls from the ages of 6 – 8, called “the sleigh girls.” The best part was when the 6-year old, pigtailed blond girl determinedly stuck a pose with scrunched face and hands in the air. So cute!

All in all, it was a fun way to get out and celebrate with the local community in Saba. We love that everyone is so enthusiastic and supportive of each other — and it was a great way to get settled in our new home.