Kate and I start Christmas morning with a surf at Drill Hall beach. My board was snapped a few weeks ago and I picked it up fixed, like brand new, yesterday - an early xmas present.

For anyone who experiences anxiety at this time of year, or wants the holidays to pass by quickly, I get it.  This year was topped off with concerns around COVID.  Last week I was in contact with a close friend who tested positive for COVID.  So, when it came time for everyone at our Christmas gathering to take a rapid antigen test, I was stressing out.

Luckily, I tested negative, both when I tested Wednesday after I found out about the COVID contact and yesterday in preparation for Christmas gatherings.  But in the meantime, I stayed away from people and worried about the possibility of days in isolation.  I haven’t truly felt this since I left Canada.  It sucked!

This is my second Christmas on a tropical island, and I have to say that I like it.  It has more to do with the beach than it does the day.  This morning my friends gathered to share breakfast and surf.

For a few years, when traveling was a thing, my sister and I traveled over the holidays to Central America.  Flying over Christmas is a challenge between overbooked flights and the threat of snowstorms in the Northeast.  But landing in a hot country in the dead of winter is a beautiful thing.  As you walk off the plane and feel the heat and humidity, you look forward to the upcoming weeks and forget what day it is and what it represents.

I remember Christmas being fun as a child.  After my dad died when I was a teenager, his absence seemed too painful, and our family never got it together for the holidays.  Left to my own devices I don’t embrace the Christmas spirit.  I haven’t listened to the radio for a month because it is 100% Christmas tunes here, I have not put up any decorations, and I have made sure that I am exempt from any gift exchanges.  But what I do have is a love of the friends around me and I am grateful for this time that we can all spend together.  If Christmas allows for that – I am in.

It looks more like disco, but I am working on the surfing.

We are meant to feel that Christmas is this time of year where everyone experiences joy, and no one is lonely.   It is a fabrication.  Instead of the advertisement that has been sold to me, I focus on what brings me joy every day – surfing, the beach, the company of my friends, and good food.  These all happen to be taking place today and for that I am grateful. I hope that your life is filled with things that you love, and maybe on this day they are happening as well.

Merry Christmas.  Sending you warmth and sunshine from Barbados.

How are you celebrating this day, any day, from wherever you are in the world?