When it comes to Christmas, the US Virgin Islands are no stranger to festive holiday traditions. For Christmas dinner, the neediest families had traditionally eaten a large bone-in ham. These hams were bought with pennies saved throughout the year and often received as a gift from a neighbor, employer, or shopkeeper. Many Virgin Islands grocery stores would also give out hams to customers during the holidays.
Traditions of giving hams at Christmas
The US Virgin Islands have a tradition of giving hams to their guests at Christmas. The tradition is very old, but there are some local variations. Some families prefer ham on Christmas Eve while others prefer turkey with dressing. Regardless of the tradition, hams are a traditional part of the Christmas menu.
The Christmas season in the US Virgin Islands is a little different than in most other parts of the world, but the food traditions are similar. Many people celebrate Christmas by attending midnight mass on December 24th and having a hearty breakfast the day before. For dinner, the main dish is typically a ham or turkey with many side dishes, such as rice and peas, or a seafood dish.
In addition to ham, many residents of the US Virgin Islands celebrate Christmas with foods from their pre-Virgin Islands heritage. Deana Mills, a Dominican Republic native, enjoys a traditional Christmas meal that includes fresh meat, trimmings and sweets. She also always eats a fruitcake on Christmas day. Fruitcake, a type of traditional Caribbean dessert, is another tradition in the US Virgin Islands.
Hams were traditionally given to the neediest families as gifts during Christmas. The ham was often purchased with pennies that had been saved over the year and given to someone as a gift. Hams were traditionally given as gifts to shopkeepers or employers.
The tradition of giving hams at Christmas in the US Virgin Islands is a centuries-old tradition, and it is a tradition that has not died out over the years. This tradition has not changed despite the changes in local food culture. Those who practice it still receive a delicious gift every year.
Inkberry trees are a traditional decoration on the US Virgin Islands. These trees are naturally found on the island’s hillside slopes. They are decorated at different cultural centers. A lit tree can be spotted at the Whim Great House and Museum on St. Croix, where a display was dedicated to the island’s rich culture. The tree was also displayed at the Old Government House Museum before Hurricane Irma destroyed the islands. During the 2005-2010 Christmas season, the writer documented the tree’s tradition in the Virgin Islands, putting it on Christmas cards and a book, Funintun’s Christmas.
Inkberry trees were first used to make ink in the 1800s. Today, the tree is a traditional Christmas tree in Antigua, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Although the tree is not native to the Virgin Islands it can thrive in the island’s rocky soil. It can reach 20 feet in height. It has thorns that are used for decoration and the branches are sturdy enough to be used as a tree in Christmas celebrations.
The tradition began in the 1960s, when island residents from the U.S. mainland came to the islands to celebrate the holiday. They began collecting inkberry trees, or the brown dried stalk of an agave or century plant, and adorning them with gold paint and candies. It was a time when inkberry trees were not readily available on the island and a century plant was considered a more sustainable alternative.
Another popular Christmas decoration in the US Virgin Islands is the inkberry plant. The inkberry plant is found in the forest, while the agave grows in the arid eastern part. The century plant stalks can be propped up in rock-filled containers, and decorated with crepe paper, fabric or small pieces candy by locals. Some spray paint the stalks with gold.
The US Virgin Islands are home to the century plant, a tall succulent that survives in dry climates. Unlike other plants, it blooms only once every 100 years. Botanists say the plant blooms more frequently in northerly climates. This plant produces large clusters of yellow flowers in the early summer. It brings joy to bees, beetles and beholders.
Sal and Delores Sgambati, owners of the century plant, live in the Capeside subdivision near Snow’s Cut Bridge. The century plant is a member the agave family. It can grow up to 30 feet in height. The thorny nature of the century plant means that they are difficult to grow in gardens or homes.
Christmas dinner table
There are many ways to decorate your home during the Christmas holidays. You can use candles and other festive elements to create a festive environment. You should avoid pre-made centerpieces as they can ruin the fun of creating a festive atmosphere. Use Christmas greenery to make the festive setting even more festive.
Using colorful ornaments and other festive accents is another great way to make your house feel festive. Christmas dinner in the US Virgin Islands traditionally begins with a large bone-in turkey that has been purchased using pennies that have been saved throughout the year. The ham is then given as a gift to a neighbor, employer or shopkeeper to help those in need. Some local grocers will even give hams to customers.