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We celebrate Christmas in a very subdued way on Hilton Head Island. On Christmas Eve we make cornbread stuffing for about 700 and on Christmas Day we cook and prepare meals for the Hilton Head Island Christmas Dinner. It’s a tradition we started 17 years ago in Traverse City and continue here in the south.
The crowd is different down here — not so much those in need of a hot meal, but people whose families are gone or people who are unable to travel. We have a lot of seniors here who like the company on the holiday. It’s always a big crowd and hectic in the kitchen. My golfing buddy Jeff and his new bride Carol from Michigan will be with us in the kitchen this year and spending a few days with us during the holiday. Jeff’s recovery from the kidney transplant has been miraculous, but he’s still insisting I give him extra strokes in our golf matches. That’s got to end soon!
After the preparation of the meal, we join the other volunteers for a quick Christmas snack and head home for a nap. Being on our feet all morning in the noise and commotion of the kitchen is plenty for me. The rest of the day is spent just lounging.
We don’t shop much for Christmas. Years ago we decided to give our kids the opportunities to travel, so their presents are airline tickets here and a hotel stay there. They never seem to mind the gift and we get to share their adventures on their return. In fact, this year in February we are taking Shannon, her hubby Chris, and our first grandchild Carter to St. John’s in the US Virgin Islands as their Christmas present. Shannon and Chris will scuba dive, Grandma Katybug will watch Carter, and I’ll be along offering grandfatherly love and support.
We are spending a few days in Hawaii with my sons Andrew from Australia and Aaron from (let’s see… where does he live on Christmas Day?) Michigan, just before the holidays. The only one we haven’t caught up with is Tony, Katy’s son. As a med student at U of M, he’s a hard guy to nail down. The hours they work are unbelievable and we never know until the last minute if he will be off work and able to travel. We have a mobile family and our Christmas has to last for more than just one day.
Katy and I do not exchange presents. Never have. Our marriage and partnership is the best present we ever got and we get to share that one 365 days a year. She did go to the Goodwill store on Hilton Head several days ago and bought some LL Bean slacks and blouses at $3.79 each. We didn’t do much to stimulate the economy this year.
We hope all your travels and plans work smoothly this holiday season. We are certainly looking forward to our holiday family time.