The Best Christmas Ever

Another Christmas come and another Christmas gone.

This one, probably the best Christmas ever, would be spent on the beach in Montanita, Ecuador with friends in from the U.S. to help us celebrate.

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Sunset beer with friends

Even without the arrival of friends to join us, this was supposed to be a pretty monumental Christmas. This was the year our nearly four year old Kaia was supposed to first begin becoming aware of the concept and rituals surrounding this late December holiday tradition.

But looking back on how things played out, I guess that process will have to wait till next year.

Maybe then there will be a decorated Christmas tree to sit in the corner of a living room. A lit up tree to garner the attention of a young child as presents from family across the miles begin to slowly gather beneath it. Christmas music, nativity scenes, holiday cartoon television specials with characters with names such as Charley Brown, Rudolph and (going way back!) Claymation icons like Mr. Heat and Snow Miser. And so many more.

All this and, with each passing day, the ever increasing ratcheted up anticipation of the arrival of an overweight guy

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Big Sister Elle

in a red suit in a present filled sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.

Ah yes, the presents. It always comes back to the presents.

The double edged sword of the ubiquitous and inescapable notion of Christmas giving and receiving. The wide eyed and overjoyed face of an appreciative child on one side and the insatiable, impossible to please expectation of young and old adults alike on the other.

Here, between budgeting and space limitations, we didn’t have that issue. And to be honest, we’re perfectly happy to keep it that way.

Because if this trip has reminded us of anything, it’s that we are fortunate and blessed beyond the expectations of a vast majority of the world’s population.

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Big Sis Hana

Gifts are nice, of course. Especially ones that don’t need to be strategically stuffed into a backpack. But, for us, this journey—and especially the preparation that went into it–has called attention to the often blurred line separating the concepts of NEEDS and WANTS.

So maybe next Christmas we’ll be scolded by Kaia for what she may or

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Beach Princess

may not remember from this year’s relatively meager Christmas bounty of princess themed gifts. Scolded for what could be considered the modest offerings of an engraved bracelet, princess outfit, a bottle of shampoo in a princess container, a repaired ‘loveheart’ necklace originally picked up in southern Peru and a badly needed school skills coloring book.

But then, I doubt it.

Because when all is said and done Christmas Day 2016 will forever be the day Kaia would have bestowed on her a most special gift. This being her first taste of surfing.

Pushed into barely ankle high white water with myself carefully positioned at a midway safety station, she’d make her way shoreward. All with hoots of support behind her and the outstretched arms of friends awaiting her in front.

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Happy, happy kid

Four months shy of four years old and still far from wearing the title of ‘swimmer’, the beaming smile of our daughter was as strong an indicator as any that Kaia was well on her way.

To a lifetime of surfing fun…

And hopefully, the eventual, more important realization that of life’s many gifts, 99.9% are the sorts that are impossible to wrap.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Frank Bua January 2, 2017 Reply
  2. Cecelia January 1, 2017 Reply

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