Holidays are here… and I’m thinking of Central America

I’ve lived in Michigan for most of my life. But Christmases were almost never white for me. I grew up driving to Texas for Christmas break EVERY year from the time I was two until I graduated from high school. My mom was a teacher and my dad always took the three of us on the annual trek south to visit my grandparents. His mom and dad. I never missed the snow. We had a couple times with snow. Once with a big ice storm. I remember preferring it to be 70. My college years meant an early marriage and early son. And having to toil in the merriment of a white Christmas for a few years. Luckily I had larger dreams.

I joined the military as a helicopter pilot. This meant a year in Alabama and even better… 3 years in Hawaii. I know real rough, huh? I spent 4 Christmases away from home. Now, I was married and had children so I wasn’t alone and the Christmas spirit was still very high. But, being a native Michigander, you would think I would have missed the seasons and the whole White Christmas thing. Nope. Now I love the four seasons. After a recent trip to St. John USVI I came back to a brisk breeze and it felt good on my sunburned face. I prefer a warm Christmas. Christmas Day used to mean presents with the kids in the morning and the beach in the afternoon. Regaled in our Santa hats we thought it was great to send the picture (old fashioned prints) to our family back in Michigan to boast of our awesome Christmas ritual. We aschewed to evergreen tree and put lights on the palm tree. That Corona commercial where the palm tree lights up on the beach while someone whistles a Christmas tune… I love that commercial.

My oldest followed in my footsteps and was fortunate enough to get stationed in Hawaii. I got to spend another Christmas with palm trees and sandy beaches. Christmas 2012 is upon us. And it snowed a bit here in the Grand Rapids area. I am heading to see my girlfriend in Traverse City and they got dumped on. We will probably sled in her yard and maybe do a little snowshoeing. But I’m gonna be wishing I was surfing or snorkeling. At least I wish there was a palm tree ensconced with with lights that I could send a Christmas toast to. Is that too much to ask. Again, my friends don’t understand. How can I be such a Scrooge. My house has no lights. No tree. No decorations that might hint at the time of year at all. Maybe I am a bit of a Scrooge. NOPE! I just have my own idea of Christmas.

Bring it on.

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