It was 1am when I looked up from my seashell stars to see the time. I could not believe that I let this Christmas craft project get the best of me and lose myself in it. This year, instead of making Christmas feel like it did back home we decided to embrace the tropics within our decorations. After our huge day of shopping at the mall the other day, both girls passed out, and I went to work with our collection of seashells we had picked from the Bahamian beaches. With three ziplocks full of an array of shells, a glue gun, some cardboard star cutouts I made,and a touch of OCD the decorations were underway. When the wee morning hours came, I had made four stars and was nearly out of shells so I called it a night, knowing that the next morning I would regret staying up so late, but that’s what happens when you get obsessive about having every bit of cardboard covered with shells.

   The next day I had more shell projects I wanted to do, yes I am the Martha Stewart of the Caribbean, but my stock of shells were low. We set off to the beach and the girls and Eben helped me comb the PR beaches for the types of shells I wanted, this time to make a mini Christmas tree and some ornaments. Everyone was a great help finding all the shells, but when the actual project came around Arias, with her short attention span (she gets that from Eben), lasted about 10 minutes before asking me if I could do the rest of the project on my own. So there I was, making a mini-tree out of shells, all on my own. Once I had completed that project we set out on our regular Christmas tree decorating traditions.

   Eben prepared plates of finger foods for us, we had eggnog in hand, and Christmas carols blasting. The holiday cheer was on. While Eben hung up our stockings the girls and I decorated the tree. And Ellia worked at un-decorating it, it was two steps forward one step back kind of decorating. We sipped our drinks and grooved to the “Best Of” carols, which oddly enough had a lot of 80’s beats which made for some funny dance moves and good laughs. We have a two foot Christmas tree that we have been carrying around for the past three years. Because of its size, and the fact that it can only handle mini ornaments, it has not been a problem stowing it. It makes our boat feel that much more Christmasy during the holidays and allows us to pass along our traditions to our daughters, even if we are not surrounded by snowy landscapes.

  This year’s decorating went remarkably fast since Ellia was tired and ready for bed, and Arias just wanted to play with her dolls. We got our charlie Brown christmas tree decorated, stockings up, and garlands and candy canes hung. The girls may not have lasted long but the boat is now decorated for all of us to enjoy up until Christmas morning and help keep us in the holiday spirit even though we are in flip flops and tank tops.

   Hopefully the decorations don’t drive us too crazy as we sail along the PR coast from port to port. The tree and presents will be just a few more things to stow before heading out, but its all worth it for the homey feeling we get in return.

the full shaBANG
mini shell tree underway
all the fixings for a good evening
Ellia couldn’t quite reach the top of the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

both our christmas trees
all of our stars