Christmas in the Caribbean is one dreamy delight of our beachy lifestyle. Unsure of where our feet will land over the Christmas holidays, I embarked on the creative task of designing and decorating a tree on the island and one in Texas. The romance of the sea was an easy inspiration for the CARIBBEAN COASTAL tree and staying true to our love for Mexico with its cultural and colorful lure, the Texas tree had to be FELIZ NAVIDAD Y’ALL!
The CARIBBEAN COASTAL tree takes its cue from the shape and colors of the sea anemone. Their circular, spiny structure is mimicked in these delightful celeste blue and salmon coral ornaments placed randomly on the tree. Replicas of miniature Japanese glass fishing boats caught my eye, as the perfect addition to our tree on an island that boosts tourism and fishing as its primary income sources. Dried white starfish were added to the tree along with three glass sea creatures that represent wildlife on or around the island including; delightful orange crab, the legendary whale shark of our waters and the beautiful sea turtle that seasonally walks along our beach and trusts us with overseeing the hatching of her eggs. Atop the tree is a tiny, tin angel given to me many years ago by my sister-in-law that we dearly miss. Every detail on our CARIBBEAN COASTAL tree has a reason, a purpose or a story. It is simple and it evokes the sounds and life of the sea that I suppose appeals to the beachcomber in me. The tree, on the indoor shot, is placed in front of a set of old HACIENDA shutters shipped to the island and installed by our dear friend, Raul. The Moroccan stenciling was added later to camouflage a structural repair around the window. As the afternoon progressed, we realized that an outdoor shot was required for the CARIBBEAN COASTAL tree. The tree was moved to the beach for a quick seaside shot and on this breezy day, the whitecaps played a beautiful role for a perfect backdrop. We love the unique island appeal of our CARIBBEAN COASTAL tree and how it enhances our seaside CASA on this Mexican island.
Back in Texas, I began the transformation of our once pre-lit tree, to a festival of Mexican allure and tradition. Armed with new clear lights and a wide assortment of colorful Mexican paper flowers, the cultural journey began. Paper flowers in Mexico are considered a form of folk art, created with vibrant colored tissue paper, brought to Mexico by the Spanish, the Mayans quickly embraced the art and used them to decorate village and home altars. Three large piñatas were added as a contrast to the upward slope in the tree. Piñatas, poinsettias and posadas (lively parades, processionals and parties during the Christmas season in Mexico to commemorate Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to give birth to our Savior) are the three P’s for a Mexican style Christmas. More tiny piñatas were stuck into the tree, along with a few tiny sombreros. Lastly, we added the fashionable POM-POM strands, which are currently all the rage on the island. After Christmas the POM-POMS may transform into curtains or perhaps room dividers! Under the tree is an assortment of bright cone-shaped trees and equally bright NESTING BOXES. The NESTING BOXES have been a long time family tradition with our sons and now we’ve added two new sets for our beautiful daughters-in-law!
On the shelf by the tree, a rustic reindeer, embellished in Mexican textures and colors, pulls Santa and his sleigh. The sleigh is filled with Mexican paper flowers and a colorful tortilla holder, symbolizing the selection of foods served at the parties after the POSADAS. Tamales and Bacalao (salted cod) are a few of the foods traditionally served at the post LA POSADA (the inn) processional parties. The focus of the fireplace mantel is Christmas stockings that were made for us on the island and then topped with assorted greenery and a seasonal wreath. So whether we get sand between our toes or hope for a snowflake on the range, our trees anticipate our arrival and will remind us of the mysteries of the sea or our love of colorful Mexican culture. MERRY CHRISTMAS and FELIZ NAVIDAD y’all as we remember that Jesus is the REASON for the SEASON.