The tree is cleared away and the decorations stored for another year (next year in NJ!). But before the month is over, let me just recall the last memories of our final Christmas in Bermuda.
Yes, that's me on the left. The Bermuda Film Festival hosted an evening showing which we attended with friends. Dinner at Marcus first, followed by some bubbly and sci-fi geekery was a perfect addition to the usual holiday cheer. The next morning, I dragged the big kids to an early morning screening hosted by the Valencia football (soccer) team, that was well attended by all the ankle biters (and their very tired looking parents. Or maybe that was just me, projecting.)
I finished my epic baking over a weekend and delivered trays of sweets to friends.
Theo discovered the joy of forks and croissants. He is getting to be such a little nom nom, I can't take it.
The kids are on a two week holiday. While Jordan spent a weekend in NYC for his annual heart biopsy, Mina and I shared a rare mother-daughter luncheon out. Sushi at Harbourfront on a perfect sunny day. I don't like not being with Jordan on biopsy days, but that's the way we have done it the last few times, particularly since Theo made his arrival.
Chalkboard snippets. Mina is so sweet. She borrowed my coveted chalk board markers and went to town. Too cute.
It's been a lot of fun getting to know these girls over the years. One of the traditions we have had since I moved into this neighborhood is our annual "housewife Christmas party." The backstory is that one of us has a hubs whose company doesn't invite spouses to the holiday party, so she decided to ask her friends to all come out in party frocks and descend upon a restaurant for a night of fun, just the lot of us. I love it. Barracuda Grill served us up a delicious dinner and drinks. I can't even begin to describe the conversations across the table between the six of us there, as this is a relatively family friendly blog.
I do feel a tiny bit remorseful for the poor lot of guys at the table next to us. The look on their faces was priceless. To think they thought they could get out for an evening for some peace and quiet.
The night before Christmas and all is quiet. Santa and mom and dad were very good to the kids this year.
The kids awoke to our annual cinnamon rolls, and loads of gifts.
Christmas day was stunning and we eventually made our way to Elbow Beach- another yearly tradition here in Bermuda. The crowds were slightly thinned out by the time we got there (late on the afternoon.)
That worked out perfectly. We parked at the Horizons property, set aside thanks to the Coral Beach Club, and walked down to Elbow. We left the stroller atop the stairs, and found a little spot to set up with our handy beach blanket (the same one we have dragged on our first family beach adventure to the Outer Banks, in 2006.)
And the three of them, looking a bit forced. A quick play, some foot splashing in the water, and it was time to head home to prepare the evening feast.
The Christmas crackers were snapped open, we donned our crowns and dove into marinated lamb chops, cooked on the grill, creamy cauliflower mash, roasted potatoes with rosemary, and Mississippi mud pie for dessert.
I refuse to get all weepy this early, as our leaving process is going to drag on for another six months. I hate long goodbyes. I hate contrived sentimentality. I will admit though, that Christmas in Bermuda is my favorite time of the year on this island. I came to realize that a few years ago.
Whenever people ask me if we are going away for the holidays (very common amongst the ex pats) i always say no. I love it here this month. The weather can be beautiful - warm and sunny, little humidity. The vibe is relaxed and festive without being over the top commercialized. There is such a fun mix of island customs. And I love waking up in my own house on Christmas day and watching the kids enjoy their gifts.
I don't know for sure what next year will bring, but the memories of this Christmas and those of the past five years will be very dear to me.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and may 2016 be your best year yet!