#WotW Holidays

Christmas | Word of the Week

Friday, December 23, 2016S.V. CAMBRIA

My choice for this week’s #WotW isn’t very original, but with all the last-minute shopping for gifts, the wrapping of presents and trips to see Santa (and Mrs. Claus) there really was no option that made sense. So, I decided to steal an idea from my blogging-buddy, Liesbet, over on Roaming About to help spice it up a little. It’s called “Then and Now”.

First the then:

When David and I started cruising 15 years ago, we were based in New Zealand where we spent six years and five Christmases. On the surface, Christmas down-under looks the same as its northern counterpart: families sit around tables decked out in red, green and gold sharing a roasted turkey while Santa quietly places beautifully wrapped presents under the tree. But then the obvious hits you: There isn’t any snow for Santa’s sleigh. Everybody’s wearing shorts and t-shirts. And some of those holiday meals are actually picnics or barbecues on the beach. The date on the calendar may read December 25th (which screams winter for northerners like us) but for Kiwis, it’s the official start of summer.

Most years found us at anchor, opening our presents in the cockpit on Christmas morning with a curious dog (who has since passed away) lurking about to see what Santa had brought her. 



But she had to endure all sorts of humiliation before actually receiving her presents. 




We always had a small Christmas tree and lights, never failing to get carried away with the amount of gifts we bought each other.


For dinner, David would make a traditional English roast beef dinner with Yorkshire puddings and we'd dine in the cockpit as the day came to a close. We never quite got used to celebrating Christmas in the summer, but it was wonderful time for us all.




And now the now:

Christmas is spent with my family in Kansas. Some years, it’s a mess of parties and family gatherings full of chaos and good cheer. Other years, like this one, it’s pretty quiet. But whether or not everyone's in town to spend the holidays together, it wouldn't be Christmas without a visit to Santa Claus. Every year, I go to work with my sister and help her take pictures of all the kids (both big and small) to send home from school.

On Christmas Eve, someone's in charge of making a large batch of chili . . . and there’s usually a shot or two of Hot Damn to go around, resulting in a garage party with my brother, sisters, nieces and nephews.

 








But most of us aren't going to be in town this year, so those of us who are went to my nephew's workplace, The Wichita Brewing Company, for an open house instead (i.e. free beer).

Even Santa got in on the action.

 

Christmas morning starts at my mom's house with breakfast and presents with our 98 year-old grandma.

And then we all go over to my sister's house for turkey dinner.


And awkward family photos in front of the tree.



Ending the day with more garage-time fun with the family (that's a thinly-veiled euphemism for more drinking).


And that's how we spend our Christmases, both then and now  full of laughter, love and alcohol. 

http://www.thereadingresidence.com/word-week-231216/
 
Merry Christmas, everyone! And thank you 
so much for sharing your time with us here aboard Cambria

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16 comments

  1. Looks like a fun time had by all! Love the photo of Sally peering through the hatch at the galley! I think she and Hastings have a kindred spirit.

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    1. Lol. Yeah, she was always poking her head through one hatch or another to see what we were up to and to remind us it was time for dinner. Merry Christmas!

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  2. I love your Sally photos ! I know they make your heart miss her. What a great dog. And what a wonderful big family you have to celebrate with. It's nice you can spend some Christmas time with them before your next big adventure.

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    1. I do miss her, especially this time of year. The old girl really did love Christmas. Happy Holidays!

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  3. Fab photos, crammed full of fun memories. Hope you have a wonderful time in Kansas celebrating with your loved ones x Thanks for sharing with #WotW

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    1. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  4. Have a lovely Christmas - the then looks quite different but such cute photos, and I bet it's lovely to spend the now christmases with family #wotw

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    1. It truly is but I have to admit, the "then" looks pretty good to me now. :-)

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  5. It is lovely to see the then and now pictures, lovely memories. Merry Christmas X #wotw

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  6. Sally is so funny. Poor thing, having to put up with all the dressing up. :-) But, I'm sure a big chunk of those gifts was for her. Good times these years in Kansas, though. Amazing your grandma is still looking so well and participating in the celebrations. Have a great time with your family. It looks like so much fun! And, you have people working at the right places as well. :-) My then and now Christmas post is scheduled sometime next week.

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    1. We sure do miss having her around to torture, especially David. I'm looking forward to your Christmas "Then and Now" -- I'm sure it'll make me want to set sail!

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  7. That was a lot of chilli! But then there do seem to be rather a lot of you :) Merry Christmas, Stephanie!

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    1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Jo!

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  8. What a great way of presenting your then & now look at your Christmas week.
    I bet Christmas day on the yacht was amazing and so very different.I'm really impressed you managed to have roast beef & Yorkshire puddings even though it was so hot!!
    Your 98 year old grandma looks amazing!
    Sounds like you have some wonderful friends and family around you to help celebrate Christmas.
    Hope you had a wonderful day x
    #wordoftheweek

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    1. Most years I have to admit, I really missed my family but that final year in New Zealand was such a special Christmas that I'd love to do it all over again. Have a Happy New Year!

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  9. Those pictures of Sally are just too sweet. What a patient puppy she was wearing those antlers and the paper crown :-) I also love the picture of your grandma. She looks like a lady who has a good sense of humor.

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