As is our tradition, each year we decorate a gingerbread house. Well our family has grown, and our participants are older and bigger, so this year we moved up to 2 gingerbread houses. And as I did last year, I made them—not that hard, and soooo much tastier. I had planned for this event before we left the states and had purchased some candy specifically for the houses. I had to remember where I had put it, and luckily I was cleaning up the guest room and found them.
We were spending Christmas in Georgetown, Exhuma, Bahamas. Sunday, the 23rd, after our church lesson on the boat—no LDS Church nearby, so we had a primary lesson on board. That afternoon we decorated our houses. The kids had a great time! I enjoyed eating the house, and the yummy homemade frosting.
Alexander is such a good baby! he just hung out while we decorated. Next year he’ll be enjoying the candy I’m sure.
On the 24th, David headed to the beach with the kids to visit with the boating community there. One of the boaters held a small Christmas Eve church service, and sang some Christmas Carols.
Since we were on the boat again this year, I did not bring any presents for Christmas. Last year was fairly minimal, except we gave the kids a surprise trip to Disney World, so I wouldn’t really call that minimal. But this year we weren’t even in the states or anywhere near a store, so—we had nothing, no presents. I was really excited to be away from all the commercialism and to really enjoy celebrating the birth of our Savior and focusing on just that. We had prepped the kids. They didn’t ask us for presents at all. But… they did ask—what could they give to their siblings. They stopped asking to go to a store after a few days of seeing—there was no store. So without really any help from us, (maybe I once suggested acts of service) they came up with their gifts all on their own. I wanted to follow that theme… we had internet service, and we considered giving them kindle or itunes gift cards. But we kept with the same guidelines the kids had—Homemade and acts of service.
We had a great Christmas. The kids were just as excited as any other Christmas! They couldn’t wait for their siblings to open their presents from them. Santa even visited during the night and brought the kids a couple of candy canes, put into their homemade paper stockings.
Savannah made beaded jewelry for everyone in their favorite color. On Madison’s, Calvin’s, and Benjamin’s she added some pieces of coral she found on the beach. Benjamin had colored everyone a square of their favorite color with his markers. Isabel gave opportunities for her to help with each person’s chores.
For our gift to the kids, David and I came up with a list of “coupons” we could give the kids. They each received 5 coupons. These coupons gave them things like extra tickles, a late bed time for the older kids, special reading time for the little ones, a cooking lesson with mom, or fishing time with dad. Each kid also got a “no school” coupon to redeem for a day of their choosing. They were so excited for each of their coupons. I’m not sure which one was the favorite.
Along with the coupons we wrote each child an individual letter telling them what we love about them and how happy we are to have each as a child in our family.
Christmas was great! I hope to keep it simple each year and this year we did it! The kids did receive a few small toys from their Grandma Sanna that she had sent when we left Idaho. They also received a small money gift from Grandpa Chris to buy something in one of the countries we visit. They are always hoping to have money for souvenirs, so that was a great gift from Grandpa.
The other special present we received on Christmas showed up just after lunch. We received a call over the VHF radio, that our “surprise” was in town and ready for pick up. David zoomed off in the tender and the kids gathered watching for his return. They were speculating over what it could be. They finally decided it wasn’t a what, but a who, and then that created new speculation over “who” would be coming to see us. They were soooo excited when David finally came back into view, and the excitement only increased once they saw their Uncle Doug was here for a visit.
David’s youngest brother, Doug lives in New Zealand and he flew all the way to the Bahamas just to visit with us for a week or so! I think it has been almost 3 years since we have seen him. Next time we have to go to New Zealand… it’s only fair!