Features

Under Your Christmas Tree

Image: A creole-themed Christmas tree designed by Edward. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]

O, Christmas Tree! O, Christmas Tree! Tell us your old, old story.
Here in the Island Neighbours, many people erect Christmas trees in their homes to commemorate the Christmas season, but few understand the story of the Christmas tree. Historians believe that such a custom originated from the Renaissance Period. During this period, certain pagan rites associated the tree’s triangular outlook with the Christian concept of the Trinity. Moreover, it was widely believed that the tree’s shape pointed to the heavenly kingdom. Such a belief was also associated with the Norse God Thor in Scandinavian mythology.

It is believed by many that the custom grew in significance in Europe by the nineteenth century and quickly spread to the Americas. Today, in the Island Neighbours, we have adopted this custom — garnishing our real or synthetic trees with baubles, lights and stars.

What’s under your tree this Christmas? Tell us on Facebook: Island Neighbours.

Happenings
Things are looking up in Dominica! 365music.co in association with Ezbuy and Kairi FM presents the biggest fete since Hurricane Maria. On December 26, the grouping presents “CARNIMAS – After Christmas it’s Carnival”, at the Astaphan’s Parking Lot.
Gates open from 4:00 p.m. and tickets are priced between $20 and $25. Patrons are expected to wear past carnival outfits to this event. The event will feature performances from Asa Bantan and Keks Mafia, among others.

Neighbourly GetAways
The wealthy sugar industry in Guadeloupe goes as far back as the 17th century. Guadeloupe produces enough for its local consumption and vastly for exports. You may have seen Marsaille sugar on your supermarket shelves — sugar made in Guadeloupe. This burgeoning industry evolved along with its history. Around 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., visits are organized for L’usineGardel in Le Moule, Grand Terre. Elsewhere, take a tour and experience the making of sugar, rum, molasses and other by-products of sugar cane. Relax and enjoy flavourful chocolate of Guadeloupe at La Maison du Cacao in Point Noire. Dwell on a variety of chocolate choices, confectionery and recipes.

Let’s Go Shopping!
Calling all Shopaholics! Ladies, it’s time to take some time out of your busy shopping schedule to shop for that special man in your life. That’s right! This week, we implore you to take fashion to that special man. Give the gift of a shopping spree in Martinique this Christmas.

Picadely, in Fort de France, is ready to give your fashion sense a makeover. Whether you’re going for that casual, chic look or a formal sophisticated appearance, Picadely is there to meet your every need. Buy that coveted blazer, a silk tie, a knitted turtleneck sweater, a Korean style cashmere sweater or a sophisticated double-breasted V-neck cardigan for that special someone. Live a little! Shop a little!

History/Tips
Historical note! Did you know that duty free shopping in Guadeloupe, while paid at the store, is delivered to your plane or other vessel? Get to know your neighbours!

A Bit of the French for the Visitor
Shopping

I have to go grocery shopping – Je dois faire les provisions.
We need milk eggs, and bread – Il nous faut du lait, des oeufs et du pain.
I like that one – J’aimecelui-la.
Thank you, I am just looking – Merci, je ne fais que regarder.
I am looking for a red skirt — Je chercheunejupe rouge.
Can I return this item? – Puis-je retournercet article?
These watches are expensive — Cesmontressontcheres.
Can I pay in cash or via credit card? – Puis-je payer comptantou par carte de credit?

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