I have never been on vacation for Christmas before. We have been away from home for Christmas plenty of times. In fact, back home in Scotland that was our norm as we would travel to spend time with either set of grandparents over Christmas and often New Year too. However, spending Christmas in a family home is not the same as spending Christmas in a holiday home. Mr Pict’s parents, having arrived in Florida a few days before us, had done a power of work making the place look not only more domestic and homely but also festive and fun. On Christmas morning, therefore, there were stockings at the end of the boys’ beds and presents waiting under the tree just as if they had been either at home or in their grandparents’ homes. Despite the paucity of equipment in the kitchen, my mother-in-law also managed the feat of pulling together a complete and completely delicious traditional Christmas dinner.
What was not traditional at all was that the boys spent a large chunk of Christmas Day swimming in an outdoor pool. Neither the boys or I have ever experienced a warm Christmas so that was novel enough but to be able to splash around in a swimming pool was fantastic fun for them. Indeed, they had such a great time with the pool over the course of our visit that our 7 year old learned how to swim to the bottom of the pool and our 5 year old learned how to swim without arm bands or a pool noodle. All four kids being able to swim was a Santa gift for we parents.
A few days later, they also enjoyed the novel experience of night swimming. The pool was heated so they were able to swim and splash around in the dark. They seemed to think that swimming in the dark – supervised, of course – made it extra exciting.
That is how treasured memories are made.