We are now in our second year on this beautiful island which we can now call our home. It's the second time we spend christmas on Islay and we enjoy the festivities leading up to Christmas and Hogmanay. Before we moved to Islay we never really bothered to holiday here in the winter time because the days are short and the weather isn't exactly like it is, or should be, in spring or summer. Little did we know back then that the festive month of December is actually a nice time to be on Islay. There are so many activities being organised, such as school concerts, christmas fairs, markets, ceilidhs, christmas parties for kids and special church services, all of which welcome visitors to the island too.
A special category events are the many plays in the schools, the nativity plays for the Pre 5, P1 and P2 kids and the Pantomime's (Pantos) for all other school children. They play an important part in community life on Islay as not only mums and dads watch the school plays but other family members come to watch them too. It is heartwarming to see all the kids giving their best in these performances in front of all their proud families. Often there's coffee, tea and home baking afterwards which makes it also a good occasion to catch up with people you haven't seen for a while.
New this year was the "switching on the lights in Bowmore" event with music and stalls in Bowmore Hall. For the first time this year Bowmore has beautiful christmas lights attached to the lampposts in the same style as Port Ellen. Other villages like Port Charlotte and Portnahaven have christmas trees with lights. It all adds up to the nice christmas atmosphere on the island, especially when more and more people use exterior christmas lights too. Islay is a magical island and even more so in this magical time of the year.
We wish all the readers a Very Merry Christmas!