We blog frequently about the compromises we make living on a boat. Whether it be doing without amenities like a freezer or hot water, or negotiating work versus play days, there always seems to be give and take in our live-aboard life. Making the decision to fly home for Christmas this year was one of the more difficult compromises we've made lately. Being apart has been more the norm than the exception these past couple of years, so opting to be apart when there was no real family emergency seemed a bit inconsiderate on my part. Yet, David encouraged me to go and spend the holidays with my sister.
I treasure the holiday season. David enjoys it, but it's not that important to him. “David, I'm going to decorate the boat for Christmas.” “Okay, honey, have at it.” If it gets decorated, wonderful. If it doesn't, no worries. I go for lots of lights and faux evergreen garlands, fresh flowers when we can find them, stuffed stockings and a traditional roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings. David loves the food aspect, and cheerfully participates with my holiday-mania, but the rest is all fluff to him. We even negotiate how soon and how often I'll play Christmas music on the boat. He's reluctant to hear the same Christmas CDs (we only have two) much before December 1st. Me? I could start playing them in July without a problem.
In the past, we've celebrated Christmas in Florida, Ecuador, Chile, Tasmania, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia … sometimes with a group and sometimes just the two of us. We always manage to make the the day cheery, but there's something about picking out a Christmas tree and decorating it, and all the other festivities that lead up to the holiday that put me in the spirit.
David and I talked about this at length before I made the plane reservations. I wanted him to come back with me. He preferred to stay and work on the boat rather than travel back to the States for a couple of weeks. He'll rack up some “cave time” and get lots of projects completed by the time I return.
What it all comes down to is compromise once again. Beyond doing things for the boat and maintaining our live-aboard, gypsy lifestyle, sometimes we need to do things for ourselves as individuals. So I'll be in Boston sister-ing over the holidays and David will be in Durban Nine-of-Cupping and come the New Year … we'll be ready to start living the good life once again … together.