old and new

I survived my Thanksgiving bout of homesickness. Aided in large part by Island Boy. He makes me laugh, which is really a good thing. Laughter fixes a lot of things. Plus, in lieu of a turkey dinner, he cooked my favorite dinner for me on Thanksgiving night – schnitzel…my favorite food these days. 🙂

And now it is time for Christmas preparations. Last year, admittedly, I sort of ignored the holidays. It was easy. I was still settling in. Things were chaotic. Everything was so new that doing normal holiday things, like putting up a tree and baking cookies didn’t seem necessary. Oh, and there is the whole climate thing…strangely enough it just doesn’t seem like Christmas when the sun is shining and air temperatures are hovering in the upper 80s.

But this year is a little different (not the weather…it is still sunny and hot). But things are settled. Or as settled as things ever get on a transient island. And I am looking forward to Christmas. And I finally convinced Island Boy that a decorated tree would be a good idea. And so it went yesterday…shopping for a tree, then lights, ornaments and a tree skirt. (Funnily enough, tree skirts seem to be a decidedly American tradition, since neither Island Boy nor my Dutch co-workers seemed to have any idea what a tree skirt was.)

One perfect tree. Or at least perfect for me.

So, we procured all the necessary ingredients, recruited one very helpful 14 year old, and…magically…an hour later, we have a finished Christmas tree. A very pretty Christmas tree. With a tree skirt that sort of looks like snow, even. With twinkly blue lights and shiny silver ornaments. And I’m loving it, because just like almost every other Christmas season of my adult life, I can sit in the dark and enjoy a glass of wine and watch the tree lights sparkle and enjoy the specialness of this time of year. Very nice. (Although I will admit that sweating while decorating said tree was something new for me…no mulled cider was needed or even wanted.)

And it got me thinking that I’m finally starting some new traditions here. Or renewing old ones, with a Caribbean twist. Finally. And that is making me feel grounded and calm. It is putting me in a comfortable place where I haven’t been in awhile. And it’s all because of something as simple as a Christmas tree.

Maybe next I’ll bake some frosted cut-out cookies. Maybe.

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