Christmas on Pitcairn is a community affair and always enjoyed by all. To capture the true essence of Christmas the following extract (abbrv.) by Sue O’Keefe was taken from the 2014 Miscellany December publication for which the Philatelic Bureau is grateful.
StampNews.com invites our readers to sing along Christmas Carols and join the Christmas celebration by contemplating these beautiful festive stamps and getting acquainted with this interesting festive story.
"Volunteer community members kick started the Christmas Day celebrations on Pitcairn Island on the morning of 22nd December by going out fishing for the communal dinner to be held on Christmas Day. The afternoon of Christmas Eve saw more volunteers gathered to organise the cutting and subsequent decoration of trees to adorn the Square for the Christmas Day celebrations. Carols by candlelight were sung with enthusiasm that evening as preparations were finalised for the coming day.
Christmas Day broke with a bit of a threat of rain but luckily the showers came to little and plans for the day could go ahead without last minute juggling. Community members began gathering in the Square late in the afternoon to share time together and perhaps reminisce about Christmas of past that was shared with others. Earlier in the month it had been decided to slightly change the usual order of the day with a communal Christmas Dinner being offered at the Square followed by present giving for all those who wished to participate.
A lot of effort went into the planning of possible menu items with a selection sheet being delivered to all households and then collated to allow for best possible planning for catering on the day. Five different meat selections along with a myriad of salads, accompaniments and desserts were prepared, again by volunteer community members, for all who wished to join in.
After the blessing was completed by Seventh Day Adventist Elder, Kean Warren, it was time to help yourself buffet style to the yummy spread and with the helpings available you had to wonder to yourself if you were going to have enough room for dessert! The clinking of cutlery on plates ringing throughout the Square showed appreciation for the efforts made by the team of volunteers to give the gift of Christmas Dinner.
Earlier community members had hung, strung and placed presents on the trees and tables placed around the arrangement of dining tables and many a shifty glance was cast over them looking for names by young and old. Father Christmas enlisted help to deliver a present to each of the community members and as per tradition, once Father Christmas headed off to complete his rounds, the male members of the community began the noisy, fun filled task of cutting the other presents from the trees and calling the names of the recipients. A troupe of elves energetically fulfilling their mission of bringing presents to all!
With the cacophony of noise it is difficult to hear your name, which is part of the fun, so when someone gives you a present it makes your day. Eventually all the presents find an owner, which can take quite a while here on Pitcairn as community members are very generous. Presents range from the practical such as a set of sanding discs for curio work to the more indulgent such as a tub of rocky road or a banana cake. Once everyone has chatted themselves out it is time to load your baskets with all your goodies and head home for the great unwrapping!"