November 30, 2020

Winter wonderland lights up Cayman

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Winter wonderland in Cayman? Anyone who has ever visited, or just driven past Maureen and Maxine Bodden’s fantastic display of Christmas lights on South Church Street already know that anything is possible.

There is everything from baby polar bears and reindeer each twinkling with hundreds of fairy lights – to flashing palm trees that look as if they might have been air-lifted from the front of a Las Vegas Hotel.

Altogether, it’s a very special place. Not only for children who love to coo and point, their faces bright with the magic that only Christmas can bring. Take a look at everyone’s face as they walk around, and you’ll soon see that Bodden’s magic garden can cast its spell on adults too, making them forget their worries for a little while.

Maureen and Maxine have been adding to the display year after year, continuing a tradition started by their parents, the late Valda and Capt. Theophilus Bodden, OBE.

It was when they were both still little girls, back in the 1950’s that Maureen and Maxine’s mother encouraged them to decorate the Christmas tree, Maureen said.

From there, in the 1960’s the decorations began to move outside the home, first around the front porch, and then a big Norfolk Island Pine which stood in the front yard was covered in lights. Later, animated Santas and assorted Christmas critters really got things moving.
It’s a collection that keeps growing more amazing every year, with each new addition.

For three or four years now The Boddens have been replacing their regular lights – which got hot, burned out (“Sometimes almost as fast as you got them out of the box,” Maureen says) and used bucket loads of electricity – with LED lights which last from year to year and use a lot
less electricity.

“We’ve brought several new reindeer and a snowman, and some new trees for this year,” Maureen said.
There are also some new singers on the front porch display that includes English Victorian-style carollers, alongside a delightful nativity scene complete with donkeys and camels.

While both the twins like to go shopping for the lights and ornaments, it is really Maureen who designs the garden and puts everything together, with the help of her gardeners. She doesn’t need to draw anything out, she says, she just designs as she goes along.

“We just want everybody to be happy and enjoy it. It thrills us to make other people happy,” Maureen says.

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