While Christmas traditions vary around the world, some elements remain the same – spending time with friends and family, eating and drinking far too much and giving and receiving gifts! But what does Christmas on Necker Island actually feel like? We caught up with Leesa Jones to get all the festive details
Tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are and what you do.
Leesa Jones AKA Island Mum! My husband Kenton is the General Manager and I help out where needed, focussing mainly on Necker’s Gift shop
Do you live on Necker Island?
Yes we do along with our two children, Theo (age 9) and Zara (age 7)
How long have you worked for Virgin Limited Edition?
What’s it like working on a luxury Caribbean island in the run-up to Christmas?
So much fun! Guests come to Necker to celebrate major life events such as big birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. Mix these with the lead up to Christmas and the vibe is so full of fun it bursts!
Do you have any festive traditions on Necker Island?
Necker Santa visits the guests’ rooms on Christmas Eve with Necker gifts. If guests want it, we will bring in carol singers and local bands on Christmas Eve too. Santa Richard also makes a special visit on Christmas Day.
A lot of the staff are living away from their family so we become each other’s family. We do Secret Santa and will all get together for Christmas dinner – anyone not working gets together to cook for each other that evening. Those who are working in the evening will take turns to come and join us all for food.
When the Branson family are staying on the Island we all get invited to join them for dinner. We then take it in turns to work so everyone has fun! We all clean up and party as we do it. Washing up can be the most fun part as those with musical talent turn a pan into a drum and get the tunes going! One year the kitchen clean up party was so much fun the guests came and joined in J
The photos of our waitressing team who made their own t-shirts stating “It’s a Branson Christmas! You wouldn’t understand” says it all. We all love our jobs but when we have the island’s owners in house, it is so much fun and why we are all here.
What do staff and guests alike typically do on Christmas Day?
The normal festive celebrations are as follows: on Christmas morning, we typically start with gift opening in the Great House with festive music, Buck’s Fizz (Mimosas) and festive snacks including mince pies and eggnog. This is then followed by a full on turkey dinner with ALL the trimmings! The only difference is the sun shines and the games are sailing races and pool fun! Santa even descends but without a sleigh and chimney! Richard will usually dress up and kite surf on to the beach with a sack of toys.
Do you have a Christmas tree? Or maybe it’s a festive palm tree?
Haha! We do put lights around some of our palm trees! We have four Christmas trees around the Island, the biggest being in the Great House which is 16ft tall! You’re more than likely to spot the odd lemur resting in the branches!
What gift are you asking Father Christmas for this year?
A bike to keep up with my crazy kids and husband!!
What New Year’s Resolutions are you making in 2017?
Get fit on that bike