Christmas at 75 Degrees

This year’s Christmas felt like my Christmases growing up in Florida, 75 degrees and sunny. I missed the chill in the air- even the rare snow, but the spirit of the day was still in place. The warm temps also allowed us to enjoy being outdoors, including a wonderful walk with the pups up on the Vulcan Trail with great views of the city…my second long walk of the day in a futile attempt to counteract eggnog and desserts. 

The day began early as Christmas always has for me. Even though Dan and I don’t do the traditional present thing, it is hard-wired into me to feel that child-like excitement. I want to enjoy every precious moment of lights, music, and celebration. I sat in the quiet, feeling the magic, remembering the fourteen Christmases we have had in our home together. 

Since we don’t have children, our family is spread out, and both of our mothers have passed, our Christmases have been trying to settle into a new normal for us, with new traditions that are becoming our own. We often have gathered with dear friends, but this year they were recovering from illness. We decided to make a lovely meal for the two of us, putting out the china, crystal, and good family silver. Dan gave a beautiful blessing as we began our feast, talking about our family no longer with us, sending them peace. I felt their love all around us as he spoke. 

After dinner, Dan and the dogs curled up on the couch for a long winter’s nap, and I headed outside to read and sit with our cat, Kasey. Cats can teach us a lot about relaxation, a lesson I need to learn. 

When we got home from the Vulcan Trail a while later, we decided to head to the top deck to enjoy the sunset with a nice glass of wine. The weather was perfect and the views, lovely- an ever-changing canvas of color and light. 

There is so much to be grateful for in our lives, and we enjoyed taking the time to reflect on our blessings and dream about the future. We talked about Christmases past, from childhood joys to some more challenging holidays we’ve spent as adults. Each of those holidays, even the challenging ones, have led us both to love and appreciate both the magic and the peace of our holiday. We recognize the importance of keeping the thread of family traditions running through our Christmases, keeping us connected with our past. We also continue to build our own little traditions that are just ours. The blend of the old and the new keeps our celebrations fresh and meaningful. As life changes, we have to change with it- how beautiful, though, to bring a part of every Christmas we’ve ever had along with us into that change.  

Here’s to the magic and meaning of Christmas. May we always keep that childlike wonder-  even at 75 degrees. 

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