My husband and I grew up in large families with great holiday traditions centered around lots of food, music and love. My family celebrated Christmas Eve at Gran and Pop’s with a formal turkey dinner while Clint’s family had Christmas Day at his grandparents’ serving up ham carefully sliced by his Grandfather. During our marriage we have carried those family traditions around the world. In Germany single soldiers shared our table so they didn’t have to eat alone in the mess hall while in South Carolina our favorite holiday dinner was with our co-workers who, like us, couldn’t get home for the holidays. They shared their favorite holiday dishes along with the memories of their own family traditions. Throughout our 50 years we were always surrounded by friends and family. So we were at a loss two years ago when we found ourselves alone for Christmas.
As the last minute shoppers were closing down the stores and families gathered around the dinner table, Clint and I dropped the mooring lines and headed out to Biscayne Bay with no definite destination. With the bay entirely to ourselves, we let the wind lead us to Sands Key where the horseshoe shaped anchorage captures the most amazing sunsets. After appetizers lit by the bright orange sky we made a quick call home to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Once the tears stopped we prepared our own holiday dinner of all our favorites: ham, mashed potatoes, and green beans. We reminisced about our childhood while sipping on a nice bottle of red and munching on our favorite cookies and candies. As we slept, “Santa” filled the stockings hung on the port holes with more edible treats and one “toy” for each. The blend of old and new created a wonderful new tradition we now look forward to every year.
Lighted boat parades have become quite the holiday tradition in communities throughout our region. Friends and families gather as cleverly decorated vessels usher in jolly old Saint Nick. Read about this holiday tradition in Annapolis and how tradition took a slight change in Oriental, N.C. Then head to our website for a complete list of parades in our region.
Need gift ideas? Carol Bareuther has your shopping list covered with her Top Ten Nautical Gifts. From books to family charters, there is something for everyone. For that kayak fisherman on your list, Glenn Hayes explores the latest in kayak fishing accessories. We also highlight the newest boat models found at the recent boat shows for that truly special someone. Capt. Fatty too gets into the holiday spirit sharing a touching story about his father’s ditty bag.
No matter how you choose to spend your holiday, may it be filled with laughter, love and happy memories. From our family to yours, Merry Christmas.