On Christmas Cruising
1. If you go cruising, don’t plan to leave your traditions back ashore.
2. Many feel that the new lifestyle will make family traditions, such as, for example, Christmas and Thanksgiving, less relevant. The opposite is true.
3. Many feel that the new lifestyle makes it very impractical to observe traditions. Not so. You may not be able to have all the trappings you can buy at the malls and have in a house, but you can still do things that help you to remember what’s important. Christmas lights and Thanksgiving turkeys can work on a boat too. Sure, you’ll have to tailor the festival and its trappings to suit your boat and where you are.
4. For example, in the Bahamas we’ve seen people use Casuarina branches for Christmas decorations. For Thanksgiving we’ve seen nice groupers substituted for turkeys. You can do enough, even though it’s different, to keep plugged in to the parts of the past life that you’ve loved.
5. In cruising harbors everywhere you’ll find others on boats wanting, like you, to continue the experience and to share it with others. There are special events, organized by cruisers, on the beaches and on boats that help everyone to do that. A good example is the well known cruisers’ Thanksgiving event in St. Mary’s on the river of that name in Georgia (very close to Florida.)
6. All of this is important because no matter how much you’re into the cruising life, it’s easy to begin feeling homesick, not only for the house and friends back ashore, but also for the roots of your life. A feeling of separation from values can easily arise. Often this gnaws on cruisers, making the experience less enjoyable and a return to shore life more likely. It doesn’t have to be this way.
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Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale