Today's the last day of November. Thanksgiving is behind us, and we're full throttle into the Christmas season. My happiest note though is that today brings the "official" end to the 2011 hurricane season. Buh-bye, so long, see ya! We made it through another year without serious storms in this area. Ahhh.... I am happy. Looking ahead, I still see palm trees and massive amounts of sunshine, but I also know tomorrow I turn the page on the calendar, it will be December.
Although I don't celebrate Christmas, I do enjoy looking at the spruced up homes & businesses with wreaths and lights. I always love stumbling upon the unexpected, like last year's drive across the 7 Mile Bridge and seeing lit Christmas lights strung on a tree growing out of the old bridge in the middle of the ocean.
I was out last night for a friend's birthday celebration. We went to the Square Grouper on Cudjoe Key. My meal was just wonderful, and the service was great, never a small feat when dealing with a large group of revelers. On the way home I noticed that many businesses have already decorated for Christmas. There's trees decorated and lit, buildings all trimmed out, and even the business district light poles have decorations on them. When did this happen, I have no idea, but it seems quite a few elves have been hard at work.
This past weekend, I asked Mr. Happy Vegan for a favor. I asked if he would string our solar powered LED lights onto the mangrove in front of our house. In the Atlantic Ocean. I love looking out upon the inky black ocean showered by a starry sky (and most nights the Milky Way thanks to the fantastic star gazing conditions here) to see those teeny tiny lights twinkling on the tree. He was way ahead of me... when I asked him about the lights he told me that he already had them sitting in the sun to be charged, and planned on getting them on the tree that day. Indeed, he did.
I never forgot a question/comment a guest said a few years ago, asking what's Christmas like down here. He said something along the lines of "it's probably like it doesn't even happen, it just doesn't seem like a Christmas-y place." I think I understood that he probably meant it doesn't snow here, its not a Norman Rockwell kind of place when you think of Christmas. But, indeed the majority of people here do embrace Christmas in many traditional ways, as well as the unexpected. Traditionally, there's places selling real Christmas trees, traditional Christmas music plays in the stores, churches have special things going on, and stores are decked out trying their best to entice us with their offerings. Unexpectedly, I've seen the Salvation Army bell ringers dressed like pirates & wenches instead of Santa, seen steel drum players wearing Santa hats playing Silent Night, and seen lit Christmas lights on a tree growing out of a bridge in the middle of the Ocean.
I've decided to take a little time this week and photograph some of our local holiday sights for you. I'll post them for you to enjoy. As the season wears on, I'm sure I'll see lots of interesting things, so I'll do my best to keep the pics coming through the month. I shall have my camera at the ready, at least that's the plan.
Although my toes seem to curl every time I hear Christmas music (unless its played a la tropicale'), there's a lot for me to enjoy this time of year too. I hope you there is for you too.