Dec. 11, 2005 – The day may have been dreary but the inside of the Greathouse at the St. George Village Botanical Gardens was filled with Christmas cheer for the annual Christmas Spoken Here holiday event over the weekend.
Stepping into the great hall, the pungent scent of fresh pine was heavy in the air, emitted by a wondrous display of ten gaily decorated Christmas trees in a variety of themes.
There was a Victorian tree with lace flowerets and dried baby's breath decorating its boughs and a winter white tree with a white feathery boa wrapped from the apex to the base, with silver bows and balls swaying from the limbs.
The Lavender and Lace tree recalled the days of street vendors hawking their wares. Lavender soap, encased in delicate lace, complemented purple Christmas balls on the tree. And, of course, no tropical Christmas tree display would be complete without a Christmas in Paradise tree bedecked with delicate star fish, cut miniature conch shells and colorful tropical fish ornaments swimming in and out of the boughs.
Another original design was the Crucian Carnival tree honoring the local culture. Miniature guavaberry wine jugs, kalaloo pots and top hats with the names of the 17 original members of the Gentlemen of Jones embossed on a hatband dangled from the tree limbs. Interspersed through this cultural assortment were madras-clad mocko jumbies and quadrille dancers. Topping the work of art was a festival dancer complete with a multi-colored feathered head piece.
Christmas Spoken Here traditionally occurs a few days after the annual St. George Village Christmas gala fundraiser where the Christmas trees on display were auctioned. Brinsley Burbidge, the garden's executive director, said local companies sponsor the trees and residents decorate them. The trees were auctioned for between $500 to $2,000, Burbidge said.
Christmas Spoke Here is the garden's contribution to Crucian Christmas festivities. Burbidge said this was the 12th year of the activity.
"It's slowly becoming a tradition," he said.
More than 70 vendors dotted the historical grounds. Last-minute Christmas shoppers could find that unique gift for everyone on their lists. If all that shopping made people hungry, they just needed to head over to the food vendors area. There was an international assortment of treats from Texas style BBQ, Trinidadian roti, Chinese spring rolls and Crucian kalaloo and maubie.
For the kiddies, there was pictures with Santa in his sleigh, coloring activities or they could get creative and make a holiday basket. All the fixings were available, glitter, garland, holiday bulbs and older youngsters to help guide the little one's hands.
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