My very favorite Christmas tradition happens on the night of Christmas Eve: We get dressed in our jammies, load our blankets and pillows out to the car and drive around looking at all the Christmas lights and listening to the Christmas music on the radio. As a child I remember looking forward to this with just as much anticipation as opening presents. I loved being together as a family, gasping over beautiful displays, laughing at mistaking real deer for Christmas decorations, judging if a cul-de-sac was too covered in snow to get the car in and out without getting caught in a snowbank, and falling asleep to the hum of the car engine. My dad knew all the best decorated houses and neighborhoods in the city. I remember picking out my favorite decoration and knowing just which lights I would decorate my house with, once I was old enough to have one.
Now I am old enough to have a house. I do have a house, but I do not put up my long list of Christmas lights up on the outside. Christmas lights in Sunland seem a little sad to me: forever waiting for that soft blanket of snow that has no intention of coming. Christmas light in Sunland seem like a mimic; a knock-off. It just doesn't hold the same magic.
Still, my daughters don't seem to mind, so the tradition of Christmas Eve light-driving continues. Even if it does make me a little nostalgic for Hometown.
Don't feel bad for me. In fact, if you are cursing your current cold weather, do not read this post any further.
Feeling nostalgic for hometown lasted almost twenty four hours. After that the high seventy degree weather won me back. Saturday we spent a perfect day on a beautiful beach: playing ultimate Frisbee barefoot in the sand, getting a small sun tan, eating the most delicious food barbecued in front of some breath-taking waves, and generally enjoying the summer weather.
Monday we drove down to the tide pools. The tide was at a low and we went in search of all sorts of sea creatures. We went in shorts and barefeet: swimsuit tops and sunglasses. We waded through the foot-deep warm waters that were as clear as glass and poked under rocks to see the crabs scurry away. We saw lots of sea anemones, that I learned you can actually stick your finger in and they will suck it in along with all thjeir little waving petals. We toughed a few crabs, which reared up in irritation, and we even saw a starfish and a the coolest, softest sea slug (which is much prettier than it sounds). Afterwards we soaked in a hot tub and made plans to spend New Year's Eve Kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding on the lagoon.
Now this is the way to spend Christmas vacation. I love it here.