It is always a bit strange celebrating Christmas in the islands as it doesn’t quite like feel like Christmas. And yet, we have spent the last 7 Christmas’s away from the mainland. The temperature is hot, the skies are blue, the water is clear, and there is no hustle and bustle. No malls or shopping, no big parties or white elephants. It’s merely a small gathering or private celebration.
Yet, I still find that I bring some of my traditions with me each year. I have a small Christmas locker where I store my limited decorations; a wooden tree with a few ornaments and miniature lights, holiday hats, and a few odds and ends. In addition to displaying my meager holiday collection, I do a cookie baking day.
Cookie Baking Day is a tradition started by my grandmother where we would all gather in her kitchen and make a variety of cookies for the family. Once I moved to Texas I carried on the tradition with my friends which was the highlight of the season for me. On the boat, its very hard to have more than one person in the galley so I tend to make a few batches of cookies myself and share them with other cruisers. Not the really the same, but it allows me to enjoy the gift giving.
Originally, we were going to head back to San Blas for the holidays, but several cruisers decided to have a potluck on Christmas Eve in Linton Bay. There is a large building, in mid-construction that has been designated the future marina headquarters. But, funding has run out and it is now used as a gathering space out of the sun. Fernanda on “Allegra” organized the potluck, brought a small tree, an extension cord for the lights, and arranged tables and chairs for everyone. There was a wonderful selection of food, sweets, and beverages.
Christmas morning was quiet and relaxing, we had xmas tunes playing, ate some cookies, and lounged a bit. By mid-day we were feeling antsy and decided to head to shore to go for a walk. But, as we approached the dock we noticed a lively group gathered around a BBQ. Another boat hosted this Christmas day celebration with burgers, shrimp skewers, sides, cookies, beer, and music. It was a sparkling celebration with people from Germany, Sweden, London, Spain, and America.
Matt and I retired back to the boat where he made another batch of pulled pork from the pork shoulder we acquired at the fresh market in Colon. It was equally fabulous and tasty and a wonderful Christmas dinner. About an hour later, friends from “Wandering Rose” stopped by to share a toddy and spread some more holiday cheer.
HOLIDAY CHEER CHECK LIST:
- Good Friends
- Holiday Music
- Funny Hats
- Christmas Tree